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Ensuring radiation protection: European Commission takes Portugal to Court to guarantee citizens’ protection from ionising radiation-exposure

Ensuring radiation protection: Commission takes Portugal to Court to guarantee citizens’ protection from ionising radiation-exposure risks

The Commission is taking legal steps to ensure the protection of citizens, workers and patients against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation. Today, the Commission decided to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to fully transpose the EU’s revised Basic Safety Standards Directive (Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom) into national legislation.

Member States were required to transpose the Directive by 6 February 2018. The Commission has been providing continuous support to the Member States to properly transpose the rules. In November 2019, the Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Portugal requesting it to notify to the Commission all of its transposition measures for the Directive. Since then, Portugal has notified additional transposition measures, but has not yet established a national action plan addressing long-term risks from exposures to radon, as required by the Directive. Therefore, the Commission is referring Portugal to the Court of Justice today.


The Euratom Treaty provides the Commission with the legal basis to establish basic safety standards to protect the health of workers and the general public against dangers arising from ionising radiation. Once fully implemented, the Basic Safety Standards Directive will ensure the highest level of radiation protection of workers, patients and the general public across the EU.

The Directive, which was first adopted in 1959, sets out the requirements on emergency preparedness and response in case of radiological emergency, and provides for radiation protection education, training and provision of information to the public, among others. Emergency preparedness and response provisions were strengthened following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011. The latest revision from December 2013 took account of the scientific and technological progress since the 1990s, and consolidated five earlier legal acts into a single piece of legislation.

April 7, 2022 - Posted by | EUROPE, Legal

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