EC safety powers increase

22 October 2004

European Union (EU) ministers have been asked to approve powers for the European Commission, enabling it to spend money on boosting nuclear industry safety across a number of regions simultaneously.

Brussels already has budgets to boost safety in specific regions, such as former Soviet states, but wants more flexibility to improve standards across Europe and central Asia. It also wants to combine this work with reforms to controls preventing nuclear materials being abused by terrorist groups and others.

The powers would be rolled into a broad "regulation establishing an instrument for stability" that authorises EU action to prevent civil conflict, human rights abuses and other public order problems.

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