• 13 February 2014

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    Category : Opinion

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    Turkey and FIIAPP, hand in hand on the road to the EU

    A decade of working together for the welfare of Turkish society and the country's entrance to the EU.

    We have been working hand in hand since 2004. Turkey brings its excitement about change and efforts to improve its public administration and policies. FIIAPP, its project management baggage, with Spanish experts working from Spain and in Turkey. Objective: to provide a better quality of life to the inhabitants of Turkey through the strengthening of these public policies, and to facilitate its integration into the European Union (EU).

    Democracy, Human Rights, Security, Environment, Telecommunications and Transport are some of the sectors in which Turkey and FIIAPP have twinned. A similar model to that followed with Croatia. The Foundation promoted that country’s integration into the EU, which took place on 1 July 2013, with 21 cooperation projects.

    In the case of Turkey, FIIAPP has managed, with a budget of over 27 million euros from bilateral cooperation and the European Commission, 31 cooperation projects to date, seven of which are currently underway. One of these is the “Ship Contaminating Emissions Control” project, kicked off in May of 2012, which has already resulted in Turkey joining the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). This not only means that the country has adopted the same legislation for transport policies as the EU but also that it also now has a legal basis to enable it to inspect vessels with foreign flags that enter Turkish ports.

    FIIAPP expert, Cibrán Fernández, posted to Turkey to follow this project, which is scheduled to end in May of 2014, detailed its goals, challenges and benefits to Turkish society in #Historiasdecooperación.

    More laws, fewer deaths

    Each year, cargo ships generate around one billion tons of polluting emissions, according to the EU. Of this total,4% corresponds to emissions from the European Union and 3% to the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change all over the world.

    In light of this, Fernández emphasizes that these emissions have a“considerable adverse effect” on the population. They can even cause cardio-respiratory diseases and cancer. “This, in the long run, will reduce the number of deaths of Turkish citizens caused by this type of emissions”, pointed out the FIIAPP expert in reference to the project.

    According to a studyby the University of Delaware, 19,000 people may have developed lung cancer and another 60,000 may have died from other diseases due to polluting emissions from ships passing through Turkey.

    The activities planned for this twinning project to enable Turkey to achieve a high level of control over polluting emissions are the following: developing a model for dispersing emissions, preparing an action plan to eliminate polluting emissions by ships, harmonizing Turkey legislation with that of the European Community and international conventions, and training ship inspectors.

    In addition to adapting to the EU and MARPOL framework, Turkey also has theInternational Maritime Organization (IMO) as a reference. Seventy percent of shipping emissions occur at a distance of 400 km from the Turkish coastline. Every effort is necessary to mitigate the human and environmental cost this problem represents.

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.