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Parliamentary questions
26 October 2010
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Franz Obermayr (NI)

 Subject: Legal issues relating to Euratom

In Austria, a majority of those voting in the referendum of November 1978 on the commissioning of Zwentendorf nuclear power station rejected it. The Austrian Parliament then decided that no more nuclear power stations would be built in Austria without a referendum. In 1999 the law in question was further tightened up by the Federal Constitutional Law for a Non-Nuclear Austria, which has the same status as the Constitution. In 1995, after Austria’s accession to the EU, the country also acceded to the Euratom Treaty. Since then, therefore, Austrian tax-payers have helped to finance the European nuclear industry, even though a substantial majority of the Austrian people reject it. Euratom aims to increase the use of nuclear power, as does the Lisbon Treaty. At present payments of more than EUR 40 m per annum are made. Austria is paying for a technology which it rejects by means of a law which possesses constitutional force.

1. According to an Austrian report commissioned by the Austrian Greens before the 1994 referendum on membership of the EU, it would not be necessary for Austria to join Euratom if it acceded to the European Union. Can the Commission endorse this report from the point of view of European law?

2. Why has the European Parliament — the institution representing citizens — not been given any powers of codecision on the allocation of Euratom funding? Is there any suggestion that it might acquire them in future?

3. Since the Lisbon Treaty entered into force, a new legal situation has arisen as regards the possibility of withdrawing from Euratom: as Article 49a of the Lisbon Treaty also applies to the Euratom Treaty, it must be possible de jure for an EU Member State to withdraw unilaterally from it. Does the Commission anticipate that one or more Member States will withdraw de facto? What are the practical arrangements for implementing this clause?

4. EUR 3092 m in Euratom funds is available for the implementation of the 7th Framework Programme between 2007 and 2011. This comprises EUR 2 159 m for fusion research, EUR 394 m for nuclear fission and radiation protection, and EUR 539 m for measures of the Joint Research Centre in the nuclear field. Are these figures correct? In which field is the financing of decommissioning of obsolete nuclear power stations provided for?

Original language of question: DEOJ C 249 E, 26/08/2011
Ostatnia aktualizacja: 10 listopada 2010Informacja prawna