Written by Marcin Szczepański,
All EU Member States are party to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The purpose of the Community is to create the necessary conditions for the development of a powerful European nuclear industry. To achieve this goal, the Community promotes research and establishes safety standards, among other things. Consecutive Euratom research and training programmes are established by Council regulations and are based on Article 7 of the Euratom Treaty, which stipulates that programmes shall be drawn up for a period of not more than five years.
The total budget of the Euratom programme for the 2014-2018 period, amounted to €1 603.3 million and was allocated to three programmes:
- indirect measures in fusion energy research and development (€728.2 million);
- indirect measures for nuclear fission, safety and radiation protection (€315.5 million);
- direct measures in the field of nuclear safety, nuclear waste management, safeguards and security, mainly carried out by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (€559.6 million).
In October 2018, the Council extended the Euratom programme to the 2019-2020 period, to synchronise its duration with the EU multiannual financial framework (MFF). While the objectives of the programme remain unchanged, there is now increased focus on nuclear safety and security aspects that are dealt with by the JRC. The €770.2 million financial envelope for the implementation of the 2019-2020 programme is allocated among the three above-mentioned strands, with respectively €349.8 million for indirect measures in the field of nuclear fusion research, €151.6 million for indirect measures for nuclear fission, and €268.8 million for direct measures in the field of nuclear safety. Switzerland and Ukraine partcipate as associated members of the programme.
An interim evaluation covering the first half of the 2014-2018 periode indicates good progress in reaching the programme’s objectives. It underlines its EU-added value, relevance and efficiency, and suggests improvements, considering for example the need for greater visibility and availability of the results for stakeholders. Taking into account the experiences gained from running the current programme, the EU is now considering a Commission proposal for the new edition, covering the 2021-2025 period, which offers a modest increase in the financial envelope (+4.4 %), and more streamlined objectives.
Read the complete briefing on ‘How the EU budget is spent: Euratom research and training programme‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.
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