The European Commission
(EC) Environment Commissioner will visit Galicia, Spain
to take stock of the environmental damage following the oil spill
and sinking of the tanker Prestige. During her visit, the Commissioner will discuss elements of the "Prestige package" adopted by the Commission on December 3, which builds on the proposals made by the Commission after the Erika accident (Erika I and II packages) and sets out further proposals to improve safety at sea. The "Prestige Package" also foresees action at the international level to introduce a stricter application of the polluter pays principle and to increase the level of the International Fund for Oil Pollution Damage to EUR1 billion. The EC is of the opinion that compensation for environmental damage is not adequately covered by existing international rules. The current international regime focuses on damage to persons, goods, and property and does not provide for adequate compensation for damage to the environment and ecological restoration. Therefore, the Commission will review the need for further measures.