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Marine pollution places enormous demands on the national authorities responsible for responding to the incident and cleaning up the pollution damage. Often the resources required are beyond the means of a single country. Hence, a number of maritime states have concluded regional and bilateral agreements to render mutual assistance whenever a pollution incident threatens their coasts. Often, because of their geographical position, countries are members of more than one cooperation agreement.
The EU actively participates in international cooperation activities. It is a contracting party to all major regional conventions and agreements covering regional seas around Europe, such as: