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Parliamentary questions
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19 September 2018
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-003530/2018

In June 2018, the Commission followed the Aquarius incident closely.

The Commission welcomes that a solution was found thanks to the Spanish Government.

The circumstances surrounding the Aquarius incident fall under the international regime of Search and Rescue (SAR).

The international legal framework governing search and rescue is complex. National authorities are competent in these matters and it is not in the Commission's powers to coordinate search and rescue events or to indicate places for disembarkation.

The SAR Convention only lays down an obligation of coordination and cooperation but does not necessarily entail an explicit duty to allow disembarkation in a particular port which is a matter not specified under the international law.

It remains therefore crucial that States closely cooperate with each other to ensure disembarkations take place in an effective and predictable manner.

Last updated: 19 September 2018Legal notice