Europe censures France, threatens Britain

21 December 2004

France has been censured by Europe’s higest court, the European Court of Justice for failing to implement Euratom legislation. Britain, meanwhile, is being formally threatened by the court for a breach of the Euratom treaty

Britain’s threat concerns past radioactive contamination: the European Commission claims that the UK is breaking Article 53 of the Euratom Basic Safety Standards Directive by restricting its prevention of exposure to ionising radiation to the redevelopment or disposal of radioactive waste. Other sources are ignored, said the Commission.

The French government has been for missing an October 2000 deadline to implement Euratom legislation on informing the public about radiological emergencies. Although there have been reforms since, bringing France closer to implementing the directive, the court ordered full compliance. Paris admitted it had yet to comply with rules on first-day medical care following a radiological or nuclear accident, but regulations insisting that citizens are “informed without delay” have now been introduced.

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