Ships in need of assistance
At the occasion of the Intergroup's conference held on January 27th, the European Commission's Directorate General for Mobility and Transport presented the EU Operational Guidelines on Places of Refuge with the stakeholders involved in the process.
The Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, also joined the conference to show her support to the initiative.
Simultaneously, he European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) together with all maritime industry stakeholders, the Commission and EMSA co-signed a joint declaration to express their support for the Guidelines.
Member States authorities, the Commission, EMSA and the maritime industry who have been working together for three years within the framework of the Co-operation group on places of refuge to draft these guidelines. They aim to enhance the communication and cooperation between the relevant authorities in the Member States in situations where a ship in distress requests a place of refuge, and also to streamline the decision-making process. The guidelines have and will be further tested during dedicated exercises. As such, they are seen as a living document that can be further improved to incorporate lessons learned.