An informal deal by Parliament’s negotiating team, and the Council’s Danish Presidency will give new powers to the European Agency for Maritime Safety (EMSA) to step up cooperation against piracy, prevent maritime pollution, improve training for seafarers and help establish an EU maritime space without barriers.
Once formally approved by the Council and the Parliament, the deal will amend EMSA’s founding Regulation: the agency will be able to extend its preventive work and make broader use of its resources to help EU Member States, also by reducing bureaucracy.
“EMSA will not replace or duplicate Member States’ work, it will bring added value. It should play a much bigger role in supporting national authorities on safety inspections and in co-ordinating emergency and training requirements for seafarers”, said leader of Parliament’s negotiating team Knut Fleckenstein after the meeting.
The compromise mentions EMSA’s possible future role in preventing pollution from offshore oil and gas installations once new EU rules on offshore platform safety – currently being debated in Parliament’s Industry committee – have been approved.
Such rules would provide the much-needed legal basis to examine further implementing steps involving EMSA, noted Mr Fleckenstein, who made it clear that Parliament favours entrusting EMSA with the related prevention and inspection tasks, rather than setting up a new agency.
Mr Fleckenstein also gave Transport Committee MEPs a detailed report about the deal and recommended that Parliament should approve the compromise agreement at the second reading.