Questions and answers to Joaquín Almunia, on nuclear energy
Type: Complete press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
At a question and answer session with the press on 9 October 2013, Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, answered questions about State aid for the nuclear energy sector.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Question from a journalist (in FRENCH) saying that the day before (08/10/2013) there was a policy debate on the guidelines for State aid towards energy and the environment; asking whether or not State aid for nuclear energy will be included in the next consultation; about the Hinkley Point nuclear power station project, asking whether the EC suspects that this file could constitute State aid and therefore be illegal based on current treaty terms. Answer from Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Competition, (in FRENCH) that at the policy debate on the guidelines for State aid towards energy and the environment, the decision was in effect made not to address possible public aid for nuclear energy; for the first time, these guidelines cover both energy and the environment, as a result of the convergence of these two policies; it is not about whether or not to support or encourage nuclear energy; that decision falls to Member States; treaties protect their freedom to choose one source of energy or another; it transpires from conversations with the authorities of the United Kingdom that there is a programme of planned investments for the Hinkley Point nuclear power station; the EC wants to know whether or not it is possible for certain techniques that are going to accompany this investment project to be considered State aid; in case of public aid from the British - it is up to them to decide whether or not to offer public aid - the criteria upon which we are to analyse the compatibility or otherwise of aid must be determined; the College of the EC has decided not to include nuclear energy in the guidelines and to wait until the first case that can be notified to express its criteria once a concrete case has been analysed.
||Question from a journalist (in FRENCH) asking whether he considers nuclear energy to be a mature energy. Answer from Joaquín Almunia (in FRENCH) that maturity is not a question of age, it is a question of costs.
||Question from a journalist (in ENGLISH) on the change in perspective regarding State aid for energy; Answer from Joaquín Almunia (in ENGLISH) that there has been no change of heart.
||Question from a journalist (in ENGLISH) on the fact that State aid for nuclear energy is not envisaged. Answer from Joaquín Almunia (in ENGLISH) that he thinks that the decision adopted the day before by the College of the EC is the right one.