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25. 5.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 158/191

The Spanish Police Directorate-General said that these visits had been carried out at the request of the EU Office
for Coordinating Police Services regarding the gathering of information on the breakdown of those taking part in
the demonstration, the routes they would be following, means of transport and accommodation in Luxembourg.

What is the legal basis of this action? Does the Council believe that these actions are compatible with respect for
fundamental freedoms such as the freedom of expression and the freedom to demonstrate?

(12 February 1998)

The maintenance of public order in the territory of the Member States of the European Union is the exclusive
responsibility of the authorities in each Member State. The Council is not authorized to comment on questions
which lie outside the powers conferred on it by the Treaties.

(98/C 158/259) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3807/97

by Ilona Graenitz (PSE) to the Commission
(17 November 1997)

Subject: EU-level civil liability for nuclear power stations

Nuclear power station incidents and accidents cause serious damage to human health and the environment. In
order to compensate victims of such incidents at least financially and pay for clearing up afterwards, it would be
desirable to introduce civil liability for operators in respect of the consequences of operating a nuclear power

Are any moves being made in the Commission towards a proposal for EU-wide civil liability legislation of this
nature in respect of nuclear power station operators?

Is there any discussion of this topic at international level?

Answer given by Mr Papoutsis on behalf of the Commission

(15 December 1997)

In the early years of the nuclear power industry, it was already recognized that the possible magnitude of damage
from a nuclear accident was such that insurance coverage of nuclear liability required international co-operation.
This is not only illustrated by the two international regimes for nuclear third party liability, which were
developed in the early sixties, but also by inclusion of Article 98 in the Euratom Treaty. On 29 July 1960, the
Convention on third party liability on the field of nuclear energy (the Paris Convention) was established under
the auspices of the Organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD) Nuclear energy agency and
entered into force on 1 April 1968. This Convention covers most western European countries, including all
Member States with a nuclear power programme. Under the auspices of the International atomic energy agency
(IAEA), a regime of a global character was established on 21 May 1963 under the Convention on civil liability
for nuclear damage (the Vienna Convention) which entered into force on 4 December 1974. The Paris
Convention regime was supplemented by the supplementary Convention on third party liability in the field of
nuclear energy. This Convention was adopted on 31 January 1963. The Paris and Vienna Conventions were
linked on 21 September 1988 by the Joint Protocol relating to the application of both Conventions. Maritime
transport of nuclear materials is covered under the Convention of 17 December 1971 relating to civil liability in
the field of maritime carriage of nuclear material.

On 12 September 1997, a Protocol amending the Vienna Convention was adopted. On that occasion a new
instrument, the Convention on supplementary funding, was also adopted. These instruments, which have not yet
entered into force, incorporate the progressive legal, technical, as well as economic developments that have taken
place since adoption of the Paris and Vienna Conventions and foresee considerable additional compensation.

Given the comprehensive nature of this international regime, the Commission does not see the need to develop
specific legislation for the Community. In this context, it is of course important to note that the Euratom Treaty,
and in particular Article 98, does not impose any obligation to legislate in this field.