The European Union (EU) Council of Ministers has approved a programme of tight cooperation with the United Nations’ (UN) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on controlling the movement of radioactive materials. Ministers agreed that €7 million of EU money should be spent on the joint work.

A council note said that the decision was part of the “EU strategy against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).” It will involve helping the IAEA strengthen the security and control of radioactive materials in legitimate use; the detection and prevention of illicit trafficking in radioactive materials; and the implementation of international conventions on nuclear security and radioactive materials verification.

This joint work will focus on countries in south-eastern Europe, central Asia, the Caucasus, the Mediterranean region, the Middle East and Africa.

Ministers also agreed that the EU should in principle back a joint action supporting the UN Security Council resolution 1540(2004) on WMDs.