Bonn Agreement Contracting Parties

Despite numerous efforts to ensure the safety of navigation, there is still a risk of incidents at sea. The North Sea also includes some of the world`s busiest maritime areas, including the Strait of Dover, while others are often hit by severe storms. The combination of continued growth in shipping and increased human activities at sea, such as the construction of wind farms, poses increased risks to the marine environment. As a result, the parties to the Bonn agreement are working to improve the common approach to combating marine pollution based on regional risk analyses and the use of the best available methods and resources. 1. The contracting parties provide for the fulfilment of the secretarial tasks relating to this agreement, taking into account existing arrangements under other international agreements relating to the prevention of marine pollution and air pollution in the same region as this agreement. Belgium is one of ten signatories to a cooperation agreement “for the prevention and control of pollution of the North Sea by hydrocarbons and other pollutants” (Bonn Agreement, 1983). The signatories are the nine North Sea coastal states, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the European Union. The Bonn Agreement covers the North Sea agglomeration and is the mechanism by which the ten contracting parties can cooperate to combat accidental pollution at sea from maritime disasters and chronic pollution caused by ships and offshore installations. Article 218, paragraph 6, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE) provides that “the Council, on the proposal of the negotiator, adopts a decision on the conclusion of the agreement.” In addition, this article provides that the Council, unless the agreements deal exclusively with the common foreign and security policy, with the decision to conclude the agreement, after approval by the European Parliament, where the agreements cover areas either of the ordinary legislative procedure or the specific legislative procedure, where the approval of the European Parliament is required. In order to respond effectively to the accidental and operational pollution of the North Sea, the parties to the Bonn agreement carry out a series of activities that can be divided into five areas: aerial surveillance, exercises, reaction, research, operations.