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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 280 E/81


(22 July 2003)

The Council has been informed that, the Peruvian Public Prosecutor’s Office, has formally charged Nelson
Palomino la Serna with the offences of inter alia supporting terrorism, aggravated robbery, and
kidnapping. An action in this respect has been brought before the District Court of Aynes, San Francisco
Province, Department of Ayacucho. The case is currently at the preliminary investigation stage.

According to information provided on Friday 11 April by the Ayacucho regional directorate of the
national prisons institute (INPE), Nelson Palomino was being held in Lianamilla Prison.

It is not for the Council to comment on an ongoing judicial process at national level. Nevertheless, the
Council reaffirms that the maintenance of the rule of law and of democratic and civil rights is a key factor
for peace in that region.

(2003/C 280 E/086) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0717/03

by Rosa Miguélez Ramos (PSE) to the Council

(11 March 2003)

Subject: Prestige: re-routing of maritime transport corridors

On 21 November 2002, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the Prestige disaster off the
coast of Galicia. Paragraph 12 reads:

Calls for the existing corridors for the maritime transport of oil and hazardous substances in
Community waters to be rerouted as far away as possible from coastlines and, in particular, areas
declared vulnerable; asks the Commission to work with the IMO towards the establishment of such a
mechanism at international level.

How does the Council view this request from Parliament?

What steps has it taken or does it intend to take in response?

(2003/C 280 E/087) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0719/03

by Rosa Miguélez Ramos (PSE) to the Council

(11 March 2003)

Subject: Prestige: EU action at WTO level

On 19 December 2002 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on safety at sea and measures to
alleviate the effects of the Prestige disaster. Paragraph 5 reads:

Recognises the fact that the EU has only limited power to control ships in transit through its waters;
therefore calls on the Council to act quickly to grant the Commission the mandate to negotiate on
behalf of all 15 Member States within the International Maritime Organisation, with particular regard
to the establishment of more stringent rules on Port State Control in third countries, the development
of a Flag State audit procedure aimed at combating flags of convenience, as defined by the Paris
Memorandum of Understanding, and the proper implementation of compulsory shipping routes and
pilotage and the restriction of shipping in designated Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas in order to
protect sensitive coastlines; given the slow process of decision-making at IMO level, calls on the
Commission simultaneously to initiate bilateral negotiations with key third countries with a view to
improving the safety of ships in transit through EU waters;.
C 280 E/82 Official Journal of the European Union EN 21.11.2003

How does the Council view this request from Parliament?

What steps has it taken or does it intend to take in response?

Joint answer to Written Questions E-0717/03 and E-0719/03

(21 July 2003)

The Council welcomes the European Parliament’s prompt reaction to the Prestige accident, as expressed by
the resolutions adopted on 21 November and 19 December 2002. It fully agrees with most of the
principles defended in these resolutions, and notes with satisfaction that many of the measures proposed
by Parliament are in line with the conclusions on ships’ safety and pollution which the Council (Transport,
Telecommunications, Energy) adopted on 6 December 2002 in response to the Prestige accident.

As rightly pointed out in the question, the strengthening of maritime safety and the efficient prevention of
pollution of the marine environment requires that measures are implemented on the international level, in
addition to Community legislation. The Council will therefore continue to pay full attention and seek
appropriate solutions to the problems related to the safety at sea and the protection of the marine
environment in the relevant international fora. Equally, Member States are actively participating in
international negotiations on various of the issues referred to in the question, primarily in the International
Maritime Organisation (IMO), acting on the basis of positions previously co-ordinated between the EU
countries and the Commission.

The Council agrees to the objective of reducing the threat of accidents which might cause pollution of the
marine environment and the coastline in sensitive areas from vessels transporting oil and hazardous
substances, for instance through the implementation of measures such as re-routing, obligatory pilotage
and the restriction of shipping. To this effect, the Council, in its conclusions from 6 December, urged
Member States that have common interests in sensitive sea areas to identify and formulate co-ordinated
proposals for the areas to be protected as Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSA) by the IMO. The Council
has been informed that some Member States will present a joint submission to the next meeting of the
Maríne Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the IMO, to be held 14-18 July 2003, proposing the
designation as a PSSA of an area covering the Atlantic coastline.

The Council also favours the effective implementation of regional and international rules on port State
control, sharing the opinion that strengthened port State control is one of the measures to be applied
against sub-standard shipping. In this regard, Member States contribute to the on-going work in this area
in the framework of the Paris MoU and the IMO, for instance on occasion of the 11th session of IMO’s
Sub-Committee on flag State implementation (FSI 11) which is taking place form 7-11 April 2003.

On the issue of the development of a Flag State audit procedure aimed at combating flags of convenience,
the Council on 6 December expressed its support for the on-going work in the IMO to develop a flag State
Code and a compulsory Model Audit Scheme (MAS) to ensure that flag States carry out their duties under
international conventions. In general, the Council stressed the need to re-examine international rules
concerning the law of seas and maritime transport that lead to irresponsibility and negligence tolerated by
certain open registers.

Finally, in full agreement with Parliament’s resolution, the Council conclusions addressed the need to seek
accords with key third countries in order to improve the safety of ships in transit through EU waters, by
noting the Commission’s intention to take the necessary steps to ensure the participation of the candidate
countries and other neighbouring countries, including Russia, in an agreement that heavy grades of oil
should only be transported in double-hull tankers. Similarly, the Council expressed its support for the
Commission’s efforts to investigate the potential for technical co-operation programmes to assist the
neighbouring countries in their efforts to increase maritime safety and pollution prevention.