European atomic community

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The European Atomic Energy Community ( EAG or today EURATOM ) was founded on March 25, 1957 by the Treaties of Rome, France , Italy , the Benelux countries and the Federal Republic of Germany and still exists today almost unchanged. Alongside the European Union, it is an independent international organization , but shares all organs with it .

From 1965 to November 30, 2009, she was next to the leaked July 23, 2002 with the European Coal and Steel Community and, also founded by the Treaty of Rome European Economic Community (later the European Community ) one of the European Communities . With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on December 1, 2009, the European Community became part of the European Union. After the expiry of the military alliance WEU in 2010, only Euratom remained as an independent organization and so-called European Community, but its structures are fully integrated into the EU.

In 2017, the United Kingdom announced that the country would also leave EURATOM in the wake of Brexit .

Euratom Treaty (overview)

The Euratom Treaty (as amended by the Lisbon Treaty ) is divided into preamble and six titles, followed by five annexes and six protocols:

  • preamble
  • Title I: Tasks of the Community (Articles 1 to 3)
  • Title II: Promoting progress in the field of nuclear energy (Articles 4 to 106)
  • Title III: Rules on the institutions and financial rules (Articles 106a to 170)
  • Title IV: Specific Financial Provisions (Articles 171 to 183 a)
  • Title V: General Provisions (Articles 184 to 223)
  • Title VI: Final Provisions (Articles 224 to 225)
  • Annex I: Research area related to nuclear energy as referred to in Article 4 of the Treaty
  • Annex II: Industries referred to in Article 41 of the Treaty
  • Annex III: Benefits that may be granted to the Joint Undertakings under Article 48 of the Treaty
  • Annex IV: Lists of goods and products subject to the provisions of Chapter 9 on the common market in the core area
  • Protocol on the determination of the seats of the institutions and certain bodies, other agencies and services of the European Union
  • Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union
  • Protocol on Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland
  • Protocol on the transitional provisions

In contrast to the ECSC Treaty, which expired in 2002 , the duration of the Euratom Treaty is unlimited. In addition, the Euratom Treaty - in contrast to the Treaties of the ECSC and the E (W) G - has not been subject to any substantial changes in content over time. As a rule, the adjustments were limited to reflecting changes in the other contracts accordingly. The Lisbon Treaty, which came into force in 2009 and which dissolved the EC and united with the EU, hardly changed the Euratom Treaty and allowed Euratom to continue to exist as a supranational organization alongside the EU. However, due to the extensive power policy competencies of the EU itself , it has now lost much of its importance.

in force
European Act
  Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif Pix.gif
European Communities Three pillars of the European Union
European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)
European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Contract expired in 2002 European Union (EU)
    European Economic Community (EEC) European Community (EC)
      Justice and Home Affairs (JI)
  Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters (PJZS)
European Political Cooperation (EPC) Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)
Western Union (WU) Western European Union (WEU)    
dissolved on July 1, 2011

Goal setting

The aim is formulated in Article 1: "It is the task of the atomic community to contribute to raising the standard of living in the member states and to developing relations with other countries by creating the conditions necessary for the rapid formation and development of core industries."

The individual chapters of the Euratom Treaty (EAEC) deal with: a. by promoting research in the nuclear field, dissemination of knowledge, health protection, investments, joint ventures, supplying the community with ores, precursors and special fissile materials (via Euratom Supply Agency), monitoring safety and property special fissile materials, the common market in the nuclear area and external relations (Euratom treaties with third countries ). Chapter 3 regulates the measures to ensure the health of the population. Article 35 prescribes facilities for constant monitoring of the soil, air and water for radioactivity. Appropriate measuring networks have been installed in all member states, which send the data they collect to the EU's central database (EURDEP) (see also the ODL measuring network ). Furthermore, Art. 37 stipulates that each member state is obliged to provide certain information on the release of radioactive substances, e.g. B. in the case of new construction or dismantling of nuclear power plants, to be submitted to the European Commission . Only when the European Commission has published its position paper can the project begin.


Until 1967, Euratom had its own commission and council. By the merger agreement of April 8, 1965, they were united with the organs of the other two communities. The Parliamentary Assembly (now the European Parliament ) and the European Court of Justice were joint institutions from the start. There were three commission presidents:

Enrico Medi was vice president from 1962 to 1967. The first German representative in the Euratom Commission was Heinz Krekeler from 1958 to February 1964 .

The EU institutions responsible for Euratom affairs today are:

Euratom framework programs

The EU funds that are entered into the budget in order to achieve the above-mentioned tasks are summarized in framework programs and published. The current seventh Euratom framework program includes activities in the fields of research, technological development, international cooperation, dissemination and exploitation and training. The objectives of this funding have remained largely the same since 1957. For the first program (1958 to 1962) 215 million units of account (= dollars) were used. The contribution of the Federal Republic of Germany, at 290 million DM, corresponded to 30% of the total amount.

On February 6, 1973, a further framework program was approved by the research ministers of the participating states until 1977 in the amount of 200 million units of account (equivalent to DM 732 million) to support the research of the 1,440 employees at the institutes in Geel (Belgium) , Karlsruhe (Germany), Ispra (Italy) and Petten (Netherlands).

Current supporting program

The current supporting program is divided into two programs:

  • Fusion energy research: Creation of the knowledge base for the ITER project and construction of ITER as the most important step in the construction of prototype reactors for safe, permanently portable, environmentally friendly and economical power plants.
  • Nuclear fission and radiation protection: Promotion of the safe use of nuclear fission and the possible uses of ionizing radiation in industry and medicine.

According to the EU Commission, funds totaling EUR 3,092 million were available for the implementation of the seventh framework program in the period 2007–2011. These break down into EUR 2159 million for fusion research, EUR 394 million for nuclear fission and radiation protection and EUR 539 million for measures by the Joint Research Center in the nuclear field. An extension of the financing of ongoing research work on nuclear safety and radiation protection in the Euratom Framework Program can be expected, since the EU Commission adopted a proposal on March 7, 2011 to extend the financing for the years 2012/2013.

Fusion research

In the field of fusion research , the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) was signed in 1999 to carry out research activities within the legal framework of Euratom . The aim of EFDA is to provide the necessary scientific and technical basis in European research and industry for the construction and operation of ITER .


Opponents of nuclear power regard the Euratom Treaty as no longer up-to-date due to its goal of promoting nuclear energy. In Germany, critics see the treaty as contradicting Germany's nuclear phase-out and are calling for its revision or Germany's exit.

Whether an exit from the Euratom Treaty would be possible without an exit from the European Union is a matter of dispute among international and constitutional lawyers. While a single expert opinion has come to the view that a unilateral exit from Euratom is possible on the basis of Article 56 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, others consider this to be legally or technically impossible or at least extremely difficult and consider an overdue revision of the treaty to be necessary.

In a petition from February 2011 to the German Bundestag , Germany's withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty was called for, as it privileges nuclear energy. The Petitions Committee rejected the petition a year later, highlighting positive aspects of the Euratom Treaty. Furthermore, in November 2012 the Bundestag, with a coalition majority, rejected motions from the SPD and the Greens to amend the Euratom Treaty or to allow Germany to leave.

In Austria there have already been two referendums to withdraw from the Euratom Treaty. While in 2011 the limit of 100,000 votes required for treatment in parliament was barely reached, it was exceeded in 2020.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The United Kingdoms exit from and partnership with the EU . ( in English) (PDF file point 8.30)
  2. Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community Consolidated version of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community in the version of the Lisbon Treaty.
  3. Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community: Article 1 . In: EUR-Lex .
  4. EURDEP: European Radiological Data Exchange Platform ( Memento of the original dated August 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Heuel-Fabianek, B., Kümmerle, E., Möllmann-Coers, M., Lennartz, R. (2008): The relevance of Article 37 of the Euratom Treaty for the dismantling of nuclear reactors , in: atw Heft 6 / 2008, introduction in German  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . ( Full article in English).@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  6. Heuel-Fabianek, B., Lennartz, R. (2009): The examination of the environmental compatibility of projects in nuclear law. Radiation Protection PRACTICE, 3/2009. Complete article ( [1] ).
  7. Seventh Framework Program, 2007–2011 Source: EUR-Lex
  8. Representation of the European Commission in Germany, March 7, 2011 Commission extends research on nuclear safety  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  9. Luca Schirmer: The anti-nuclear movement on new paths? Göttingen 2017 ( [PDF; accessed on January 9, 2018] Bachelor thesis, University of Göttingen). The anti-nuclear movement on new paths? ( Memento of the original from December 1, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. ^ BUND: EURATOM treaty . Retrieved January 3, 2013, archive link inserted June 24, 2020.
  11. Bernhard W. Wegener, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (2007): The termination of the contract establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM): European, international and constitutional options of the Federal Republic of Germany , PDF .
  12. Der Standard , March 1, 2011: Constitutional experts: Exit from Euratom only upon exit from the EU
  13. Mind game about an EU-wide nuclear phase-out  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Conversation with Josef Falke, Director at the Center for European Legal Policy at the University of Bremen in DRadio Wissen on May 30, 2011@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  14. German Bundestag Nuclear Supply and Disposal - Statement of February 9, 2012
  15. ^ German Bundestag: Recommendation for a resolution and report by the Committee on Economics and Technology (9th Committee). ( BT-Drs. 17/11713 ).
  16. ^ All popular initiatives of the second republic