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Procedure : 2018/2222(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0393/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0393/2018

Debates :

PV 14/01/2019 - 19
CRE 14/01/2019 - 19

Votes :

PV 15/01/2019 - 8.11

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2019)0011

Texts adopted
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Tuesday, 15 January 2019 - Strasbourg Provisional edition
European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy
P8_TA-PROV(2019)0011A8-0393/2018

European Parliament resolution of 15 January 2019 on the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy (2018/2222(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Decision amending Decision 2007/198/Euratom establishing the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy and conferring advantages upon it (COM(2018)0445),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2007/198/Euratom establishing the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy and conferring advantages upon it(1),

–  having regard to the Report of the European Court of Auditors of 13 November 2017 on the annual accounts of the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy for the financial year 2016, together with the Joint Undertaking’s reply,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 June 2017 on the EU contribution to a reformed ITER project (COM(2017)0319),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A8-0393/2018),

A.  whereas fusion could play a key role in the future European and global energy landscape as a potentially inexhaustible, safe, climate-friendly, environmentally responsible and economically competitive source of energy;

B.  whereas fusion is already delivering concrete opportunities for industry and is having a positive effect on jobs, economic growth and innovation, with a positive impact beyond the fields of fusion and energy;

C.  whereas the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy coordinates scientific and technological research and development activities in the field of fusion;

D.  whereas Europe has from the start played a leading role in the ITER project, developed in close collaboration with the non-European signatories to the ITER Agreement (the US, Russia, Japan, China, South Korea and India), and whereas the European contribution, channelled through the Joint Undertaking, represents 45 % of the construction costs of the project;

E.  whereas the Commission proposal to amend Council Decision 2007/198/Euratom aims to secure funding for continued European participation in the ITER project for the whole duration of the next multiannual financial framework in order to guarantee continuity for the project aiming at key scientific breakthroughs in the development of fusion for civil use, which should ultimately facilitate the production of safe, viable energy that meets the objectives of the Paris Agreement;

1.  Welcomes the Commission proposal for a Council Decision amending Decision 2007/198/Euratom establishing the European Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy and conferring advantages upon it, which will provide the basis for the financing of the activities of the Joint Undertaking for the period 2021-2027 under the Euratom Treaty;

2.  Regrets the fact that the Council has not consulted Parliament on that proposal and welcomes the Commission’s stated intention, as part of the State of the Union 2018, to consider ‘options for enhanced qualified majority voting and for a possible reform of the Euratom Treaty’; expects that such a reform would necessarily lead to co-legislative powers for Parliament;

3.  Recalls the delay in the construction of the experimental reactor, as it was originally planned that ITER should be constructed by 2020, but in 2016 the ITER Council approved a new timetable for reaching First Plasma in December 2025, the earliest technically possible date for the construction of ITER;

4.  Stresses that the Euratom contribution to the Joint Undertaking for the period 2021-2027 should not be exceeded;

5.  Stresses that in order to avoid successive upward revisions of the projected cost of the project, to avoid delays in the expected dates of operational milestones and to ensure the highest possible degree of schedule reliability, the ITER Organisation should include reasonable contingency provisions in any revised schedule; supports, in this regard, the contingency provisions of up to 24 months in terms of schedule and 10-20 % in terms of budget proposed by the Commission;

6.  Welcomes the new approach to risk management taken by the ITER Organisation and encourages the ITER Council to further reduce the number of subcommittees, streamline their functions and eliminate overlaps;

7.  Calls on the Council to approve the Commission proposal while introducing the following modifications:

   indicate the Euratom contribution to the Joint Undertaking in both constant and current prices,
   use, for clarity purposes, the word ‘Euratom’ instead of ‘Community’ throughout the text,
   include clear provisions regarding the committees assisting the Governing Board of the Joint Undertaking, in particular the Administration and Management Committee, the Procurement and Contracts Committee, and the Technical Advisory Panel, as regards their composition, permanent or temporary status, number of meetings and method of remuneration of their members,
   evaluate and eliminate overlapping responsibilities between the Administration and Management Committee and the Technical Advisory Panel with regard to project plans and work programmes,
   introduce provisions regarding the contributions of the ITER host state,
   include in Annex III (‘Financial Regulation: General Principles’) a requirement to lay down, in the Financial Regulation of the Joint Undertaking, rules and procedures for the evaluation of in-kind contributions,
   include provisions in Article 5 and Annex III enabling the Joint Undertaking to receive funding in the form of financial instruments in connection with blending operations implemented in accordance with the future InvestEU Programme,
   clarify the role and contribution of the United Kingdom in the light of its Euratom status, particularly with regard to potential participation in ITER,
   include provisions regarding synergies and cooperation between ITER and the Euratom Research and Training Programme for the period 2021-2025,
   consider cooperation with small and medium-sized private disruptive players, such as start-ups experimenting with new approaches and technologies, in the research programme and the network of organisations designated in the field of scientific and technological fusion research,
   clarify the provisions concerning the annual reports and assessments drawn up by the Joint Undertaking,
   include in the proposal a recommendation to investigate the possible further use of the materials currently being used in the ITER project;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 90, 30.3.2007, p. 58.

Last updated: 16 January 2019Legal notice