Brussels, 07 Apr 2003
Over 100 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have called on the European Convention not to include the Euratom Treaty when it drafts a new treaty for the European Union.
A letter, supported by organisations from across Europe, outlines concerns that the inclusion of the Euratom Treaty in its current form, as proposed by the Convention's Praesidium in a recent paper. The NGOs are critical of the nuclear research grants and subsidised projects, over which the European Parliament has no jurisdiction. This letter follows a similar appeal in early March.
'Euratom is clearly biased, out of date and undemocratic,' claims the letter. Four implications of Euratom are highlighted as being of particular concern:
- the promotion of nuclear power;
- the maintenance of a separate nuclear research and development budget;
- the absence of co-decision with the European Parliament;
- the continuation of subsidised finance for exclusively nuclear projects.
'The Praesidium's proposal tried to defend the indefensible,' said Friends of the Earth Europe campaigner Mark Johnston. 'It would be foolish, unpopular and risky to blight a new constitution by including it unchanged and therefore requiring each Member State to promote nuclear power. The Convention must recommend that Euratom is radically overhauled,' he said.
The Sixth Framework Programme will see 1.23 billion euro invested in Euratom activities, around 60 per cent of which will be used to fund research into thermonuclear fusion.
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