Security of Energy Supply in Europe

Security of Energy Supply in Europe

Natural Gas, Nuclear and Hydrogen

Loyola de Palacio Series on European Energy Policy

Edited by François Lévêque, Jean-Michel Glachant, Julián Barquín, Christian von Hirschhausen, Franziska Holz and William J. Nuttall

In economic, technical and political terms, the security of energy supply is of the utmost importance for Europe. Alongside competition and sustainability, supply security represents a cornerstone of the EU’s energy policy, and in times of rising geopolitical conflict plays an increasingly important role in its external relations. Within this context, the contributors analyse and explore the natural gas, nuclear, and hydrogen energy sectors, which will be of critical significance for the future of energy supplies in Europe.

Chapter 8: Nuclear Energy in the Enlarged European Union

William J. Nuttell

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics


William J. Nuttall1 INTRODUCTION: 50 YEARS OF NUCLEAR POWER IN THE EU 1 Nuclear energy has a special place in the history of the European Union. Concerns for European collaboration on nuclear energy matters was one of the founding motivations of the European project. Specifically, in April 1956, following the 1954 failure of the European Defence Community, an international committee, under the Presidency of P.H. Spaak, the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs proposed: ● ● the creation of a general common market; and the creation of an atomic energy community. These in turn became the two ‘Treaties of Rome’ signed in March 1957. The first treaty established the European Economic Community (EEC) and the second the European Atomic Energy Community, better known as ‘Euratom’. These two treaties entered into force on January 1, 1958. The EEC Treaty has been modified numerous times, most recently with the Lisbon Treaty ratified by the 27 member states of what is today known as the European Union (EU). The absence of amendments to the Euratom Treaty, in contrast to the decades of haggling and deal-making surrounding the EEC amending treaties, should not be taken as an indication that all EU member states have a common opinion on nuclear energy matters. While the EEC treaty, and its amending treaties, have moved incrementally towards the aim of ‘ever closer union’, the Euratom framework has moved forward much more slowly. The individual member states, rather than agreeing on all things nuclear, have taken a broad range of occasionally almost...

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