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European Parliament Supports New Maritime Policy

by Ulrika Lomas, for, Brussels

18 July 2007

Joe Borg, European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, has welcomed the opinion adopted on Thursday by the European Parliament on a future European Maritime Policy.

The EP report concluded that that the proposal for a holistic approach contained in the Commission's Green Paper, combining various policy areas such as shipping, tourism, fisheries, port policy and marine environment, is fully justified.

The report called on the EC to move rapidly so as to provide the necessary framework for cohesive decision-making on maritime affairs, and to ensure that these measures are subsequently implemented. In particular, it identified the contribution which the oceans can make both in understanding and mitigating climate change and in dealing with the impact of global warming on marine ecosystems and maritime activities, as a key test of any future maritime policy.

Commissioner Borg announced that:

"I am very pleased to have such strong support from the European Parliament for a new Maritime Policy for the Union. This endorsement is fully in accordance with the overwhelming support that the Commission's initiative has received from stakeholders and the other European institutions alike. We take good note of the Parliament's constructive comments. They will be a key element in the platform on which we will build the future European maritime policy."

"The Commission aims to create the conditions for a truly sustainable maritime economy in which growth and jobs are not provided at the cost of environmental integrity or the needs of future generations. Better maritime governance will be crucial to achieving this goal, and the Parliament's democratic mandate adds a further dimension to our ongoing dialogue with the people of Europe," he added.

The European Parliament opinion was prepared jointly by the Committees on Transport, Industry and Research, Environment, Regional Policy, and Fisheries, and was adopted last week in plenary session. The year-long public consultation on the Commission’s Green Paper on a future European Maritime Policy closed at the end of June.

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