50 years old and going strong: FORATOM toasts health of Euratom Treaty.

European Union

The 25 March 2007 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Euratom Treaty, which together with the Treaty of Rome and the European Coal and Steel Treaty, created the legal basis for today’s European Union.

To put the achievements of the Euratom Treaty into perspective it is worth recalling the fundamental objectives that defined it. These were to encourage development of a European

nuclear industry; to enhance security of supply, to guarantee high standards of safety for the public and workers and to ensure that nuclear materials were not misappropriated for military uses. In addition, the Treaty encouraged investment in R & D, maintaining Europe’s leading role in this scientific field and supporting the development of a thriving scientific community.

The Treaty thus provided a stable legal framework that encouraged the growth and development of the nuclear industry while regulating safety and security. Thanks to the Treaty, Europe’s citizens continue to enjoy the benefits of nuclear energy, namely a secure, affordable and environmentally-friendly source of base-load electricity.

The recently published European Commission (EC) Communication 50 years of the Euratom Treaty summed up in positive terms the actions that have been carried out under the auspices of the Treaty as follows: “It is recognised as having made significant achievements in the field of research, the protection of health, safeguarding the peaceful use of nuclear materials and international relations.”

The Second Vice President of the European Parliament, Professor Alejo Vidral-Qadras (EPP- ED, Spain), underlined the lasting relevance of the Euratom Treaty: “Today, the EU is facing a problem of security of supply through over-dependence upon fossil energy imports, as well as the threat of accelerating climate change. Nuclear energy, with its readily available fuel supplies and very low greenhouse gas emissions, provides an important part of the solution to both these problems. The Euratom Treaty is, therefore, just as relevant and essential today as it was back in 1957.”

The EC Communication on the Euratom Treaty is available online at: ec.europa.eu/prelex/detail_dossier_real.cfm?CL=en&DosId=195505

The relevant EC press release can be consulted (currently in French only) at:


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