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McMahon, Joe; Greaves, Rosa (2007)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Languages: English
Types: Article
Maritime transport is by its very nature an international mode of transport regulated by a large number of international treaties and conventions, most of them negotiated and concluded within the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Members of the international community, including some EU Member States themselves, were initially reluctant to transfer their sovereignty in this field of transport to the Community. However, two main events gradually changed the attitude of the Member States to the Community's competence to regulate this mode of transport. First, the mid-1980s impetus to establish an internal market by 1992 placed all modes of transport at the centre of the project. It was not feasible to establish a geographical market, stretching from the Atlantic to the Eastern European countries and from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, where goods, people, services and capital would be able to circulate freely, and in a competitive manner, without the Community seriously addressing transport issues. Thus, unsurprisingly, a number of important legislative proposals affecting the provisions of maritime transport services were adopted and implemented during that period. The second significant factor in the development of a maritime transport policy was the number of serious marine accidents which took place in the Community's coastal waters during the last 20 years.
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    • 1 Art 3(f) EC Treaty. 2 Arts 70–80, Title V EC Treaty.
    • 3 Art 80(1) EC Treaty. 4 Art 80(2) EC Treaty.
    • 5 These are known as ‘the four fundamental freedoms’ upon which the European Economic Community was established in the Treaty of Rome, 1957.
    • 6 eg Regulation 4055/86, OJ 1986 L378/1, applying the principle of freedom to provide services to sea transport.
    • 7 Herald of Free Enterprise, 1987; Exxon Valdez, 1989; Scandinavian Star, 1990; Agean Sea, Dec 1992; Braer, Jan 1993; Estonia, 1994; Erika, Dec 1999; Express Samina, Sept 2000; Prestige, Nov 2002.
    • 15 See Current Developments (2000) 49 ICLQ 227, 232–4 and (2004) 53 ICLQ 465, 465–6.
    • 16 OJ 2006 L269/1.
    • 17 OJ 2003 L1/1, on the implementation of the rules of competition laid down in Arts 81 and 82 of the Treaty.
    • 18 COM(93) 66 final.
    • 19 A comprehensive review of the Community’s maritime law and policy can be found in chapters 5 and 6 of EU Maritime Safety Policy and International Law by Henrik Ringbom due to be published at the end of 2007.
    • 20 For a long time the Member States themselves objected to safety issues becoming part of the Community’s maritime transport policy. Safety at sea was traditionally a matter for the Member States to exercise their sovereignty by participating in the international conventions promoted by the IMO. The change in direction was primarily the result of two major oil pollution accidents in European waters: the Agean Sea (Dec 1992) and the Braer (Jan 1993).
    • 21 Directive 98/18 OJ 1998 L144/1 (as amended) and Directive 95/21, OJ 1995 L157/1 (as amended).
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