nucleareurope News

nucleareurope presents vision for EU elections

On 2 May 2024, nucleareurope Director General Yves Desbazeille participated in a webinar jointly organised by nucleareurope & SFEN dedicated to nuclear and the upcoming EU elections. After saying a few words about nucleareurope and what we do, he gave an overview of the energy trilemma which Europe is facing. He also spoke about the ambitious decarbonisation targets which the EU has set noting that these include renewable specific targets, something which France, for example, does not support as they believe the focus should be on decarbonisation (and not specific technologies). He also underlined the fact that not only is there a need to decarbonise the power sector but also other energy sources such as hydrogen and heat.

Yves then provided an overview of how opinions on nuclear are changing across the Member States, noting that more and more countries are open to considering nuclear in the future, such as Italy. In this respect, he provided some insights into the Nuclear Alliance of Member States (established in 2023), including the ambitious target which they have set of having 150 GW of installed nuclear capacity in the EU by 2050 and their more recent declaration in which they commit to working together on issues such as access to finance and skills. He added that things are also changing in the European Parliament, with a two-third majority of MEPs recently voting in favour of nuclear in relation to an Own Initiative Report on Small Modular Reactors.

This year is an important year at European level, with the European Parliament elections happening in June and a new Commission taking office in Q4 2024. Yves shared some insights into what could potentially happen and what matters to us. He noted that one of the top priorities of the next Commission is expected to be industrial competitiveness. Security of supply and energy affordability will also be key, with sustainability and decarbonisation expected to remain high on the agenda.

From nucleareurope’s perspective, Yves noted our hope that the next European Commission will ensure a level playing field across low-carbon technologies and incentivise new investments (and hopefully also remove current hurdles in this respect). He then touched upon some of the potential threats and opportunities ahead of us.

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