EU anti-shipping pollution rules blocked

Mediterranean trio reject decision on criminal law cooperation; further global marine protection talks held

A planned EU framework for judicial cooperation for criminal prosecution of polluting ships was blocked by three Mediterranean member states on Tuesday. As a result of the stand by Greece, Malta and Cyprus, EU leaders will have to seek a deal when they meet in Brussels next week.

Based on a proposal made by the European Commission in 2003, the framework decision aims to approximate things like the level of penalties depending on the seriousness of pollution incidents. It aims to facilitate criminal investigations, for example by enabling multi-national investigation teams. It also includes rules to ensure that offences are effectively prosecuted.

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