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Paris plots response to von der Leyen’s ‘unfortunate’ comments on nuclear

By Paul Messad | EURACIV France | translated by Daniel Eck 27 Mar 23

The office of French Energy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher slammed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s recent comments about nuclear not being “strategic” for EU decarbonisation and is planning a counter-offensive at the EU energy ministers meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (28 March).

Read the original French article here.

Nuclear power, whether existing or in development, is not mentioned in the list of “strategic” technologies listed in the European Commission’s Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), presented on 16 March.

Ahead of an EU summit last week, the French President’s office called for clarity on the matter, urging member states to decide “once and for all” whether nuclear power is an asset for the bloc’s decarbonisation or not.

Von der Leyen responded after the first day of the summit, saying: “only the net-zero technologies that we deem strategic for the future – like solar panels, batteries and electrolysers, for example – have access to the full advantages and benefits” – which is not the case for nuclear power.

These comments only stoked further tensions with Paris.

EU not ‘consistent’ on tech neutrality………………………………………………….

Speaking on Monday (27 March) before a meeting of the EU’s Energy Council in Brussels, the office of French Energy Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher drove the point home.

The Commission president’s comments were “unfortunate” and “clearly not consistent with the climate challenge to which nuclear power and renewables are intended to respond,” the minister’s office said, recalling that the strategic nature of nuclear power is recognised “without ambiguity” in the EURATOM Treaty‘s preamble…………………

Nuclear alliance

Faced with Brussels’ reservations on nuclear power, Pannier-Runacher will bring together the 11 member states taking part in the nuclear alliance set in motion at the last EU summit in Stockholm.

The gathering of pro-nuclear countries will take place in Brussels on Tuesday morning (28 March), in preparation of a wider meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels starting at 10.00 CET………………..


March 29, 2023 - Posted by | EUROPE, politics

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