6 October 2011

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Practical Information



Ecodesign: Transposition measures still to be communicated by Czech and German authorities

On 29 Brussels, 29 September 2011 - All energy using products have an impact on the environment during their life-cycle spanning all phases from creation to disposal. More than 80% of the environmental impact of a product is determined at the design stage. The EU legislation provides a framework as regards requirements for energy-related products. The most inefficient devices are progressively being banned from the market and replaced by more innovative products with equal or better functionalities and good environmental performance. This is why the Commission has formally requested the Czech Republic and Germany to bring their national legislation on Ecodesign in line with EU rules.

The Commission has decided to send a reasoned opinion to the Czech Republic and Germany. If the Member States do not comply with their legal obligations within two months, the Commission may refer it to the Court of Justice.


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More information: Commission web page on Ecodesign Top


Energy performance of buildings: Italy is requested to comply with EU legislation

Brussels, 29 September 2011 - Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of EU CO2 emissions in the European Union. If we put in place energy efficiency measures for buildings that are foreseen in European legislation, by 2020 we can significantly reduce our energy consumption and CO2 emissions of buildings. Energy efficient buildings will also enable households to save money. It is therefore essential that Member States fully apply this legislation. This is why the Commission has formally requested Italy to fully comply with the EU rules on energy performance of buildings. The Commission has decided to send Italy a reasoned opinion.

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More information: Commission web page on the energy efficiency of buildings



EU law: Commission acts to ensure that European legislation is fully and properly implemented

In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against 27 Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law. These decisions cover many sectors. They aim at ensuring proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The Commission has taken today 500 decisions, including 5 decisions to refer Member States to the European Union's Court of Justice. In this package there are no decisions related to failure to respect a previous Court ruling.


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More information: Current statistics on infringements



EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, appointed as member of the UN High Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All

Brussels, 20 September 2011- EU Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs was appointed as a member of the High-level Group on Sustainable Energy for all, together with leaders from business, government, international organisation and civil society. He attended the launch of the UN High Level Group in New York, in presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The High-level Group will work to develop a global agenda to achieve the objective of Sustainable Energy for All by 2030 and to provide clear actions to take at the global and regional level.

EU Commissioner Piebalgs said: "With around €1bn allocated in the energy sector in developing countries, the EU is a leader in empowering the world. Our Energy partnership with Africa has already provided access to energy to 13 million people. We must join forces with the industry, academics and partner countries to foster access to sustainable energy to all by 2030. The EU will remain at the forefront of the actions to reduce poverty and tackle climate change."

2012 will be a crucial year in putting Sustainable Energy at the top of the development agenda with the UN International Year of Sustainable Energy for All and the RIO+ 20 summit in June next year.


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More information:  Energy in Africa: Commissioners Piebalgs and Oettinger launch the Renewable Energy Cooperation Programme



Proposal for a Council Directive: Basic safety standards for protection against the dangers of ionising radiation

Brussels, 29 September 2011 - The European Commission adopted the Proposal for a Council Directive laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation.

The proposed new Basic Safety Standards Directive offers the highest protection of workers, patients and the public based on the current scientific knowledge.

[Proposal text ]

[Citizens Summary, July 2011 ]




Speech by President Barroso at the High-level Meeting on Nuclear Safety: EU response to Fukushima accident

José Manuel Durão Barroso President of the European Commission Speech by President Barroso at the High-level Meeting on Nuclear Safety in New York, 22 September 2011.


Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we say nuclear, we say global. As we have learnt through tragedy over more than 25 years, radiation knows no borders.

The European Union therefore strongly welcomes this United Nations initiative for a global, comprehensive reflection on nuclear safety issues. We support tighter international rules for safe and sustainable use of nuclear energy, and we have, in our own realm, taken the lead on this.

The European Commission is already carrying out an EU-wide safety and risk assessment of nuclear facilities, together with national nuclear safety regulators.

This assessment began in June and proceeds along two tracks, with progress reports to be made public in December 2011:

  • Track 1 on safety assesses how nuclear power plants can withstand disasters – be they natural or man-made. Obviously, we need a broad and rigorous approach here. These checks go beyond previous evaluations made during the licensing process.

  • Track 2 on security focuses on potential security threats and the prevention and response to incidents due to malevolent or terrorist acts.

Two of the three steps in the assessment process are already complete. Namely: the operators' self-assessment and verification by national regulators.

The third stage is the peer review of the national reports, which will start in January 2012. We are open to allowing third countries to join this peer review process on the basis of reciprocity.

In the light of the results, we will then follow-up, including if need be by new Europe-wide legislative proposals. Our goal is clear: we will ensure the highest safety and security standards for our citizens.

We are already enforcing two key pieces of EU legislation, the EU Safety Directive (2009) and the recently adopted Directive on Radioactive Waste (July 2011).

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the interests of transparency and a stronger global safety culture, the Commission is ready to share the results of these on-going EU stress tests. Likewise we welcome sight of assessments in other countries.

Building on the clear statement by the G8 Leaders in Deauville, the European Union considers that all countries operating nuclear power plants should carry out similar assessments as soon as possible.

The EU's neighbours – Switzerland, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Armenia, Croatia, Turkey and Belarus – have already agreed to undertake comparable safety and risk checks.

This coherent approach by our whole region sets an example for the global community, and adds to our already well-established cooperation with 15 countries under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation.

Beyond the wider European region, we clearly need to work for global progress on nuclear safety cooperation. The IAEA can play a key role in developing a common global approach to nuclear safety. The action plan adopted yesterday is a welcome step forward.

The 5th Review Meeting of the Convention on Nuclear Safety in April 2011 showed the need to make this instrument more legally binding.

The European Union is committed to offering whatever assistance that helps to increase the effectiveness and enforceability of the Convention.

We offer our safety and risk assessment process as a starting point for such enhancements, as well as tangible support through the EU instrument of nuclear safety.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The tragedy of Fukushima has yet again demonstrated that we need a true cross-border, global approach to nuclear safety.

Japan's heartache must become the world's spur to action. In the name of all those affected by Fukushima, I commit the European Union to play its part and I urge the strongest possible common, global approach.Top

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