Over one hundred civil society organisations from 29 countries across Europe have this week called upon the Convention on the Future of Europe to back moves to scrap a forty-five year old European Union agreement dedicated to promoting the nuclear industry.
In a Declaration presented to Convention members today, the groups describe the Euratom Treaty, signed in 1957, as out of date, undemocratic and biased towards nuclear power over other energy options. They call for the abandonment of Euratom – the only remaining sector-specific EU Treaty – as part of the process of drawing up a new European constitution.
Scrapping the Euratom agreement ends an unacceptable situation in which EU states are forced to support nuclear against their wishes. Most states either do not have or are phasing out atomic generation due to concerns about health, safety, economics, and the difficulties of radioactive waste.
An end to Euratom would not however impose a nuclear phase out on individual states. Instead, the Declaration seeks a new European constitution that reflects “the prevailing views of European citizens today” and under which all energy options have “equal treatment, based on the full internalisation of associated costs”.
“Euratom is out of date, undemocratic and biased,” said Mark Johnston, Friends of the Earth’s European Nuclear Campaigner. “It is a relic from the past and well overdue for repeal. An enlarged EU needs an energy strategy focused on the development of sustainable energy options, rather than special favours for the discredited nuclear sector. The Convention and Inter-Governmental Conference offer an unprecedented opportunity to finally get rid of Euratom. Not to do so would risk a new Constitution being blighted by a nuclear legacy no one wants.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mark Johnston (London) +44 79 7331 9249
Martin Rocholl (Brussels) +32 2542 0183
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
The full text of the Declaration to Abolish Euratom and the names of the organisations supporting it follow below. The European Convention is due officially to consider the Euratom question in the near future, and will present all its recommendations to European heads of state later this year.
Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) pledges to continue the Euratom abolition campaign, believing that a new Constitution promoting nuclear power will be far less likely to win the backing of European citizens. FoEE has also called for the European Commission to suspend its proposed new Euratom measures – including more financial support for the nuclear industry and arbitrary deadlines for national radioactive waste dumps – until the Euratom Treaty framework itself has been radically overhauled.
read more at the foe-europe website