Maritime law within the European Union

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Most parts of the world compose of seas and oceans. This situation provides benefits for countries that surrounded by seas and oceans since they have uncountable natural resources embedded on them.

Moreover, maritime countries may take benefits of various marine resources and therefore have competitive advantages in building maritime industry as their economic generator. In order to optimize the natural resources, the countries need to deploy science and technology applications and employ professional human resources so that the fisheries and marine transport will not destruct ecosystems in the oceans.

Under such circumstances, there should be maritime law that rules the fisheries exploration and maritime trade since, according to estimation, there will be increasing demands for marine products in future. It is because the growing population that demands for fisheries products.

In addition, maritime law is also important to prepare economies all over the world to face future challenges in maritime industry such as the existence of globalization that require improved competitiveness, the preservation of marine ecosystem from environmental degradation (Borg, 2006).

Concerning the discussion about maritime law in the European Union, this paper highlights two general issues. First, challenges in European maritime industry, especially regarding the maritime economy that faces several issues inlcuding globalisation and degradation of maritime environment. Second, initiatives (maritime policy) and its impact on sustainable economy growth and maintenance of member countries’ competitiveness.

Research Proposal

Maritime Law within the European Union



1.                  Opening Section: Identification of Key Literature

In 2006 Conference of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Dr. Joe Borg (2006), a member of the European Commission who is responsible for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs says that the launch of Green Paper become the milestone of future maritime policy in European Union.

He further says that the future maritime policy in the European Union will compose of four major areas; they are responsible use of oceans and seas, knowledge and emerging innovation, quality improvement, and the control of member states (Borg, 2006).

In order to encourage responsible use of oceans and seas for any purpose such as fisheries and marine transportations, the European Union sets strategies to grow their maritime economies, develop maritime competitiveness with other countries in the world, and prevent the destruction of marine ecosystem that may cause a slow growth of marine economy;

Moreover, the use of knowledge and emerging innovation includes the benefits of marine potential, development of initiatives to obtain current marine and maritime data andn make it widely accessible, provision of learning tools regarding oceanic system, and the encouragement of inventive use of seas and oceans.

Regarding the quality improvement, European Union intends to improve quality of life across the coastal regions in the Europe by developing tools for ocean and costal management. Meanwhile, the control of member states aims at developing integrated management for ocean and seas in the Europe.


2.         Research Question

Maritime business accounts significant parts of worldwide business because there are many companies in the world depend on the use of seas and ocean to perform their business not limited to transportation purposes only.

Concerning the formulation of maritime policy for member countries within European Union (EU), initiatives has been carried out within the past several years and get intense since 2005.

In 2005, the maritime society gathered in Brussels in order to formulate the future of EU maritime policy that conveyed the needs and protect the marine capital of member countries. The meeting was the combined forces between Mare Forum and the Dutch Maritime Network that issues the would-be maritime policy, called Green Paper, which is representative, integrated and forward looking.

Since the launch of Green Paper, it is found that there are many debates to amend the policy for the better marine governance within the European Union. Fortunately, the discussion leads to several improvement of the policy that helps EU economies to have concerted agreement (Borg, 2006).

Concerning the current problem in the EU maritime governance including current policy and the formulation of forward-looking maritime law, this paper will have two research questions as following:

a) What are challenges facing EU member countries especially regarding the maritime economy?

§  What is the relation between globalization and maritime law?

§  How do the maritime challenges relate to maritime economy especially in the EU?

§  Why does maritime law consider the degradation of maritime environment?

b)      Discuss the current maritime policy and discuss the initiatives to obtain sustainable economy growth and maintain the member countries competitiveness

§  How does maritime law help member countries in the EU to obtain sustainable advantages?

§  How does maritime law favor member countries to obtain business competitiveness?

§  What areas does the future EU maritime law pay attention to?


I select the two research questions since they relate one another and represent a comprehensive discussion about maritime policy issues in the European Union. In addition, the research questions also convey broad and specific issues in which the discussion of maritime challenges deals with broad issues while the maritime policy deals with specific cases.


3.         Methodology

This paper will employ non-participant observation method since it is a key method to collect data and information in a real-life situation. To obtain reliable data, I will exploit several methods including books, peer-reviewed journals, trade magazines and reliable online sources.

The data gathering will be obtained by using indirect approach. Therefore, the collected data is secondary in nature. In addition, the decision to employ non-participant observation is because it helps researchers to have comprehensive information regarding the situation they observe. However, since observation is likely to deal with someone’s perception, I try to prevent any preconceptions that may provide some bias for the paper.


4.                  Literature Review

4.1              Maritime Economics

The initiatives to develop maritime environment relate to the creation of competitive advantages for member countries of European Union. Therefore, the discussion of maritime law is about the maritime economics.

Concerning the maritime law development, there are several challenges that face EU maritime industry. They are globalization and its influence on competitive advantages of member countries, concerns over the continual degradation of marine environment (Borg, 2006).

The issues strengthen the ideas to enforce the responsible use of oceans and seas for the benefits of member economies in the EU for variety of purposes such as fisheries and marine transportations (Borg, 2006).

Concerning the maritime economics, many effects of maritime environment occurs in today’s maritime business. For example, many international trades rely on the sea transportation such as the crude oil transport, palm oil delivery, and coal transport. Moreover, Tangredi (2002) reveals that seaborne trade becomes the linchpin of global economic development.

In addition, Taylor Wessing (2002), a German-based specialized consultant in  law firm, reveals that globalization has helped business to grow, which in turn favors marine transportation industry to grow steadily.

The situation highlights that global economics still relies on the use of sea transportation to deliver products although buyers and sellers can make a deal by using electronic means such as internet and facsimile (Tangredi, 2002).

Unfortunately, marine transportation and fisheries may provide bad impact on marine ecosystem. For example, there are many occurrences of hydrocarbons (oil) spills and dangerous products like mines in the ocean (Tangredi, 2002).

Furthermore, such water pollution will have greater impact on maritime economics since chemical contamination such as toxicity, carcinogicity, and interference in biological processes will damage the benefits of seas since it affects plankton, clams, crustaceans, birds, mammals (Tangredi, 2002).

In addition, the degradation of marine environment also influences social and economic impacts in the tourism and recreational industries that also contribute to the countries economies to some extent, which in turn will decrease the competitive advantages of a country in the EU in selling their seafood products. The case of an embargo towards Indonesian prawn exports may also happen in the EU. The case occurs when a research shows that Indonesian prawns contain CTC (chlortetracycline) and OTC (ox tetracycline), chloramphenycol antibiotic (IFS, 2007).


4.2       Challenges of Maritime Industry and Creation of European Maritime Law

The formulation of Green Paper by EU maritime community is to deal with the growing number and intensity of challenges that face EU Maritime industry. The challenges include the globalization, the needs for EU member countries to maintain their competitive advantages, and degradation of marine ecosystem (Borg, 2006).

Considering that irresponsible land exploitation has also significant impacts to maritime ecosystem, therefore in the formulation of any maritime law also pays attention to good governance of land and the sea. Therefore, the proposed of maritime law will integrate the consideration of natural resource exploitation including the ecological, social, and economic aspect (IFC, 2007).

In addition, it is widely known that maritime communities in the EU have provided uncounted contribution to the growth and prosperity of a country. For the reason, it is essential to preserve water territorial in member countries from every activity that deteriorate the good of marine environment. Issues like marine contamination, the fish catching activity that illegally and not guarded, smuggling, illegal comer entrance, sea pirates, etc. have disturbing the peacefulness of water territorial of the country and also all its consumers (IFC, 2007).


5.         Limitation

Although this paper uses information from reliable sources such as peer-reviewed journals, books, trade magazines, and online sources, I admit that there is limitation since the paper does not engage with direct interviews so that the presented information will have slightly reduced objectivity and the less accuracy.

To alleviate this unfavorable impact, I rely on the use of reliable data so that the presented information is justified. Using the data resources above, I hope to present an independent and objective analysis toward the contemporary issue.


6.         Time Table

Table 1            Time Schedule of Research

Time Schedule
Proposal Finalization
January – February 2007
The research proposal will be finalized on all aspects that include aims and objective, literature review, time schedule etc.
Formulation of Literature Review
March 2007 – May 2007
Start composing the literature review based on topics accepted in the proposal
Data Collection
June 2007 – October 2007
Gathering data from various sources including primary and secondary data
Data Analysis
October 2007 – December 2007
Developing data analysis based on collected information
Recommendation to Maritime Law in the EU
January 2008
Writing the recommendation based on the previous findings and limitations of previous  EU Maritime Law
February 2008
Writing the conclusion of the paper
7.         Conclusion

At the end of the discussion, we will summarize the research problems; provide the findings on current practice of EU maritime law, and the recommended maritime law that improve the previous policy.

Based on the nature of description of this research, therefore the appropriate reader are policy makers, business people who often conduct business by the sea like shipping companies, academics, and students.


8.         Annotated Bibliography

Borg, Joe. 2006, ‘A Time to Look Ahead’, Mare Forum Conference

In the presentation, Joe Borg reveals that the formulation of Green Paper has taken several years to complete. Although, the Green Paper still receive many recommendation from EU maritime community, the author reveals that the future of EU maritime law will consider four key areas as following:

Responsible use of oceans and seas for any purposes such as fisheries and marine transportations and prevention of marine ecosystem degradation that may cause a slow growth of marine economy;
The use of knowledge and emerging innovation that take benefits of marine potential
Quality improvement of life across the coastal regions in the Europe by developing tools for ocean and costal management;
Control member states to develop integrated management for ocean and seas in the Europe.
(Borg, 2006)


The consideration of four key areas are taken since the author sees EU holds string maritime power in the world due to its massive activities in shipping, the advancement of shipbuilding technology, marine tourism and recreation, and ancillary services. Concerning the situation, Borg suggests that EU maritime law maximise the potency of marine ecosystems across the EU without destructing them.


Borg, Joe. 2005, ‘Oceans and the Law of the Sea: Towards new horizons’, Conference of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

In this paper, the author reveals that European Union has strong relation with United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) since member countries of EU also becomes the suporter of UNCLOS in developing maritime policy.

Such agreement will give lots benefits to European Union since the enlargment of European Union (EU) will also influence the region economics and political roles. It has also enlarged the length of EU coastline and total water area within the EU authority, which in turn drives EU to become aware of the enlarged maritime dimensions and therefore create maritime law that protect EU marine potency from irresponsible use.



Borg, Joe. 2006, ‘A Time to Look Ahead’, Mare Forum Conference

—. 2005, ‘Oceans and the Law of the Sea: Towards new horizons’, Conference of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea

IFS. 2007, ‘Maritime Industries’, [Online] Available at:

Lancaster University. 2007, ‘How to prepare a research proposal’, [Online] Available at:

Taylor Wessing. 2002, Maritime Law & Transportation’, [Online] Available at:,property=file.pdf

Tangredi, S. J. 2002, ‘Globalization and Sea Power: Overview and Context’, [Online] Available at:

—. 2002, ‘Globalization has altered the dynamics….We have to respond to…’, [Online] Available at:

The Business Times. 2004, ‘Global Trends in Maritime Trade.”. Singapore Press Holding





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