European Maritime Safety Agency


European Maritime Safety Agency

Infobox European Union agency
name=European Maritime Safety Agency






x = 3
y = 209
location=Lisbon, Portugal
pillar=European Communities
signdate=2002
establish=
director=Willem de Ruiter
website= [http://www.emsa.europa.eu emsa.europa.eu]
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is a European Union agency charged with reducing the risk of maritime accidents, marine pollution from ships and the loss of human lives at sea by helping to enforce the pertinent European Community legislation. It is headquartered in Lisbon.

Mission

EMSA has the following mission: [Much paraphrased from article 2 of the "Regulation (EC) No 1406/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2002 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency", [http://europa.eu/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2002/l_208/l_20820020805en00010009.pdf OJ L 208, 5.8.2002, p.1] (PDF), as amended by the "Regulation (EC) No 724/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 establishing a European Maritime Safety Agency", [http://europa.eu/eur-lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2004/l_129/l_12920040429en00010005.pdf OJ L 129, 29.4.2004, p.1] (PDF)]
* assist the Commission in preparing Community legislation in the field of maritime safety and prevention of pollution by ships
* assist the Commission in the effective implementation of Community legislation on maritime safety and maritime security, in particular by monitoring the overall functioning of the Community port State control regime,
* organise training activities, develop technical solutions and provide technical assistance related to the implementation of Community legislation
* help develop a common methodology for investigating maritime accidents
* provide data on maritime safety and on pollution by ships and help improve the identification and pursuit of ships making unlawful dischargesIn doing so, EMSA closely cooperates with the Member States' maritime services.

History and structure

EMSA was founded in 2002, after the European Communities adopted substantial packages of legislation relating to maritime security in the wake of major shipping disasters in European waters, such as those involving the ferry Estonia and the oil tankers Erika and Prestige. It was felt that a specialised technical agency was necessary to overview the enforcement of this legislation and help in its implementation.

EMSA is headquartered in the recently built eastern part of Lisbon, Portugal, where the 1998 World's Fair took place (the Expo 98), though it it scheduled to move shortly to a new, purpose built premises near Cais do Sodré in central Lisbon. It has a staff of about 120 and operates a small fleet of stand-by oil recovery vessels contracted from the commercial sector, designed to provide top-up capacity to Member States' own response resources.cite news|title=Full steam ahead: Brussels draws up plan for 'EU navy'|author=Justin Stares|publisher=Daily Telegraph|url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/05/21/weu21.xml
date=2006-05-21
] Its Executive Director is Willem de Ruiter.

The 2005 budget for EMSA is EUR 17,500,000, plus EUR 17,800,000 specifically for pollution response tasks.

Coast Guard aspirations?

In May 2006, the conservative British newspaper Daily Telegraph reported that the Commission supposedly considered proposing to transform EMSA into a European coast guard, although the specifics of that proposed role were not reported. The paper cited critics who worried that this move would introduce a European navy by way of the back door, compromising Member States' sovereignty in defence matters.

References

External links

* [http://www.emsa.europa.eu/ EMSA website]


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