Brussels, 4 July 2004
Verification of environmental radioactivity monitoring facilities under the terms of Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty
Practical arrangements for the conduct of verification visits in Member States (OJ C155/2 4.7.2006).
(1) Chapter 3, Health and Safety, of Title II of the Euratom Treaty is concerned on the one hand with the establishment of Basic Safety Standards for the protection of the health of workers and members of the public (Articles 30 - 33) and on the other hand specifically with the surveillance of levels of radioactivity in the environment (air, water, soil) as laid down in Articles 35 - 38.
(2) Article 35 stipulates that: 'Each Member State shall establish the facilities necessary to carry out continuous monitoring of the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil and to ensure compliance with the basic standards. The Commission shall have the right of access to such facilities; it may verify their operation and efficiency.'
(3) Article 36 stipulates that: 'The appropriate authorities shall periodically communicate information on the checks referred to in Article 35 to the Commission so that it is kept informed of the level of radioactivity to which the public is exposed.'
(4) Furthermore, Commission Recommendation 2000/473/Euratom of 8 June 2000 on the application of Article 36 of the Euratom Treaty concerning the monitoring of the levels of radioactivity in the environment for the purpose of assessing the exposure of the population as a whole explains: 'To ensure compliance with the Basic Safety Standards it is important that, in addition to air, water and soil, levels of radioactivity be determined in biological samples and in particular in foodstuffs, and …' and 'the monitoring of levels of radioactivity in soil does not allow a direct assessment of the exposure of the population.
The exposure related to soil contamination is more directly assessed on the basis of … foodstuff contamination …'. Thus, Commission verifications under Article 35 also cover the monitoring of various biota (food, feed, vegetation).
(5) Verifications under Article 35 were undertaken in the past, prior to 1 May 2004, in all Member States of the European Union. The practical arrangements for carrying out verifications were agreed on the basis of bilateral meetings held with the authorities concerned in the Member States in order to clarify the scope, intention and conduct of such verifications. Conclusions were subsequently laid down in bilateral protocols forwarded through the Permanent Representatives to the national authorities and approved by the Member States.
(6) Following enlargement of the Community to 25 Member States, the need was felt to establish a common basis for Article 35 verifications in all Member States by means of a Commission Communication, which may be supplemented, if necessary, by bilateral protocols between individual Member States and the Commission services.