Danubius International Conferences, 9th International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

The European Union Strategy on Maritime Safety and the Environment

Radu Stancu
Last modified: 2019-06-17


European Union (EU) transport policy aims to ensure the smooth, efficient, safe, and free movement of people and goods throughout the EU by means of integrated networks using all modes of transport (road, rail, water and air). EU policy also deals with issues as wide-ranging as climate change, passenger rights, clean fuels, and cutting customs-related red tape at ports.Shipping is perhaps the most international of all the world's great industries - and one of the most dangerous. It has always been recognized that the best way of improving safety at sea and river is by developing European and International regulations that are followed by all shipping nations.Two accidents (the Erika in 1999 and the Prestige in 2002) resulted in oil spills in European waters. Both caused serious environmental and economic damage to the French and Spanish coasts. However, accidents are not the main source of pollution: most of it is the result of deliberate discharges (tank-cleaning operations and waste oil disposal).These rules incorporate into EU law parts of the 1973 International Convention on the Prevention of Pollution from Ships and its 1978 Protocol (known as the Marpol Convention). This makes it possible to harmonies application of the rules of this convention.More than that, the European Union has issued a series of directives that aim to ensure security on inland waters and a real protection of the environment.