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C 261 E/36

Official Journal of the European Communities



In addition, according to information received from the Portuguese authorities, this project has not been, up to this point, presented to the Commission for co-funding either under the Structural Funds or under the Cohesion Fund.

On first analysis, it was found that it appears to concern a project for a two-lane road covered by point 10(d) of Annex II to Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, ( 1 ) as amended by Council Directive 97/11/EC of 3 March 1997. ( 2 ) An environmental impact assessment under the terms of this Directive is, in principle, left to the Member States to carry out.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that the Member States have complete discretionary power, this being limited by Article 2 of the abovementioned Directive. The Member States have to take the necessary steps to ensure that projects likely to have significant effects on the environment are subject to both a request for development consent and an impact assessment procedure before any permits are granted.

If necessary, the Commission will ask the Portuguese authorities, as part of the above investigation, for

further details on how the impact assessment procedure for the project in question was carried out.

( 1 ) ( 2 )

OJ L 175, 5.7.1985. OJ L 73, 14.3.1997.

(2001/C 261 E/036)

Subject: Nuclear safety


by Nicholas Clegg (ELDR) to the Commission

(22 January 2001)

Does the European Commission have any plans to cut back the number of nuclear inspectors at the Euratom office?

If so, does not the Commission agree that such a cutback might compromise safety and lower standards at

a time when the public and politicians are becoming increasingly aware of the danger of uranium and

plutonium being diverted into military rather than civil use?

Does not the Commission also agree that any reduction in standards might put the EU at risk of violating international agreements and European law?

Answer given by Mrs de Palacio on behalf of the Commission

(19 March 2001)

In the framework of the reform process the Commission is undertaking a comprehensive review of all activities of its Services including the Euratom Safeguards Office. It is intended that a high level expert group will be established to analyse the activities of the Office in line with its obligations under the Euratom Treaty and to make recommendations regarding goals and objectives to be achieved.

The Commission takes this opportunity to clarify that the activities of the Euratom Safeguards Office devolve from the rights and obligations of the Commission in relation to nuclear safeguards, as provided for under Chapter 7 of the Euratom Treaty, rather than nuclear safety.