- believes that the revision of the flag State requirements Directive must ensure that flag States fully implement seafarers' rights onboard their ships. The real challenges are strong flag State control, as well as strong port State control in relation to the requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 which goes hand in hand with technical assistance and training provided by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), International Labour Organization (ILO), World Maritime University (WMU), International Training Centre of the ILO, International Maritime Law Institute etc.;
- recommends that training provided by EMSA to EU flag State authorities be continued, reinforced and extended to cover MLC 2006-related aspects in more detail. The EESC believes that the Agency could play a substantial role in supporting the training of officials of the flag State administrations, as well as port State control inspectors of the Member States, to conduct targeted inspections in this particular regard as well as within its wider training mandate;
- believes that the European Union should take the lead against flags of convenience by showing an excellence level of requirements and control over its vessels. The sector's intrinsic global character underlines the importance of a flag-neutral approach and of a favourable regulatory environment, which is a precondition for creating a level playing field and avoiding unwanted practices.