Joint letter by seven state leaders to EU Commission on the role of nuclear power in EU climate and energy policy
March 26, 2021

Joint letter by seven state leaders to EU Commission on the role of nuclear power in EU climate and energy policy

Leaders of Czechia, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia have issued the joint letter to the European Commission on the role of nuclear power in the EU climate and energy policy.

The joint letter addressed to the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Executive vice-President Frans Timmermans, Commissioner for Financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union Mairead McGuinness and Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson was signed by the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Andrej Babiš, President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister of Romania Florin Cîțu, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic Igor Matovič and Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Janša.

The joint letter, the Government of Poland explains,  is an “urgent call to ensure a true level-playing field for nuclear power in the EU without excluding it from EU climate and energy policies and incentives, bearing in mind that half of EU countries utilize or develop nuclear power providing close to half of EU low-emission generation”.

The leaders call on the European Commission “to ensure that the EU energy and climate policy accommodates all paths to climate neutrality according to the technology neutrality principle. In this context, all available and future zero and low-emission technologies have to be treated equally within all policies, including taxonomy of sustainable investments, aiming at achieving climate neutrality by 2050″.

In the letter, seven state leaders underline thatall available zero and low-emission technologies that contribute to climate neutrality while supporting other energy policy objectives should not only be recognized but also actively supported by the European Union”They stress that nuclear power development is one of the primary objectives of the Euratom Treaty, obliging EU institutions to promote it and that the European Commission in its state aid decisions recognized the development of nuclear power as an objective of common interest, even though it may not be pursued by all Member States.

The letter is an urgent call to ensure a true level-playing field for nuclear power in the EU

Nuclear generates stable and quality jobs

The leaders of Czechia, France, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia point out that “the development of nuclear sector in the EU is contested by a number of Member States despite its indispensable contribution to fighting climate change, as well as the breadth of yet unexploited synergies between the nuclear and renewable technologies. As low-emission baseload, it guarantees the continued renewable deployment to much higher penetration levels. Nuclear power seems to be also a very promising source of low-carbon hydrogen at an affordable price and can play an important role in energy sector integration. It also generates a considerable number of stable, quality jobs, which will be important in the post-COVID recession”.

In the letter, they also express their concern that “the Member State’s right to choose between different energy sources and the right to determine the general structure of the energy supply (Article 194 TFEU) is currently heavily limited by EU policy making, which excludes nuclear power from more and more policies.”  The leaders also underline that “concentrating on technologies to be commercially applicable post 2050 as well as decommissioning activities and safety enhancements without an appropriate framework for nuclear new build could gradually phase out nuclear power and existing nuclear technologies, which will result in a significant loss of high quality jobs in many European countries”.

The letter adds that nuclear power seems to be a very promising source of low-carbon hydrogen and can create jobs, which will be important in the post-COVID recession