The commercial shipping sector has been involved in numerous migrant search & rescue operations in the Mediterranean over the past years. Besides having the moral obligation to save people from drowning, ships have the duty to render assistance to people in need at sea under international law. However, the disembarkation phase creates problems as EU Member States have at times refused to take the migrants in, as was exemplified by the case of the Maersk Etienne last year. These problems can lead to serious lack of legal certainty for the shipmasters and to human suffering for those rescued.
To shed a light on this perspective, a broad exchange of views between the Commission, MEPs, academics and the commercial shipping sector will allow for a timely discussion on the European disembarkation and solidarity mechanisms and the position of commercial shipping under international maritime law.
Full programme and link to follow the webinar in streaming on June 1: