Commission takes Belgium and Germany to court

30 March 2001

The European Commission is taking Germany and Belgium to the European Court of Justice for allegedly failing to comply with Euratom directives on radiation protection.

The Commission claims that Germany has failed to follow EU rules about informing the public in the event of radiological emergencies. The case against Belgium concerns its failure to comply with a directive on outside workers, which specifies health and safety rules for external contractors undertaking jobs at nuclear plants.

The German case concerns Directive 89/618/Euratom on informing the general public about health protection measures. The Commission is alleging that German legislation does not ensure that the population is informed about a radiological emergency and of the steps to be taken to be safe.

In the Belgian case, the Commission claims that its government has failed to establish a uniform system regarding an individual radiological monitoring document and the obligations imposed on contractors and nuclear facilities concerning the radiation protection for outside workers.

The Commission also threatened legal action at the ECJ against Belgium, Germany, France, Britain, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain for failing to implement two key radiation protection directives, namely those on basic safety standards and also on medical exposures. The member states have two months in which to say how they will bring their national laws in line with EU legislation.

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