Greece checks Brussels’ regulatory card

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Greece has reiterated its claim that current negotiations on two outstanding issues relating to the third maritime safety package ‘hold no added value’ and it has urged that any future regulatory initiatives should be conducted so the purpose is achieved with minimum side effects.

It also added its support to the claim that EU member states should retain their sovereignty when debating at the IMO rather than agreeing to their interests being represented and voiced by the European Commission.

Addressing journalists at Posidonia 2008 in Athens, Professor Iannis Tzoannos, Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine, said of the third maritime safety package: “There are two proposals that remain on the table. One is flag state implementation and the other is civil liability. We have failed to see any real value added on these two proposals and this opinion is shared by the vast majority of other member states. During the recent council meeting, there was no majority to support this bill.

“We think that regulatory initiatives should involve efficient proposals in the sense that we achieve the purpose with the minimum side effects. We hope that the forthcoming French presidency of the EU will see to that.”

He added: “We have supported the principle that shipping regulation should be at international level because the nature of shipping is international and we should refrain from regional measures that complicate life. We are sceptical that there will be any value added if we change the existing arrangements of consultation with the European Union before we approach the IMO. Member states should retain their individual rights to act as sovereign states at the IMO.”