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International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Nuclear: High level cooperation mechanism between the EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

On 21 February 2014 the officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the European Union held the second Annual Senior Officials meeting. The discussions focused on enhanced cooperation in the areas of nuclear safety and security, nuclear applications, nuclear energy and safeguards.

The cooperation between the IAEA and the EU institutions has grown significantly over the past years, with the EU being a major contributor to the activities of the IAEA, both in terms of financing and technical expertise. Traditionally, the cooperation had focused on non-proliferation and ensuring that all nuclear material is used only for peaceful purposes. After the Fukushima accident, nuclear safety has gained more momentum.

In September 2013, the IAEA and the European Commission concluded a Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear safety. The memorandum was signed by EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and IAEA Director General Amano. It creates an enhanced framework for various forms of cooperation, such as expert peer reviews and strengthening emergency preparedness and response capabilities. It will allow both organisations to benefit from each other's work, avoid duplication of effort, and contribute to strengthening nuclear safety worldwide.