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Euratom Treaty and Euratom Framework Programme

Signing ceremony in Rome 1957

At the EU level, a wide range of nuclear-related activities such as health protection, safeguarding against proliferation of nuclear weapons, supply of nuclear fuel and nuclear research fall under the scope of the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), one of the original Treaties of Rome in 1957 and signed by all EU Member States.

Nuclear research is funded by the European Commission through multi-annual Euratom Framework Programmes, run in parallel with the much larger Framework Programmes under the EC Treaty. The current, 7th, programme (Euratom FP7, 2007-2011) provides support for research under two Specific Programmes, one for 'direct actions' carried out by the European Commission's own Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the other for 'indirect actions' - i.e. research carried out by consortia of key EU research organisations and industrial partners and managed by the Commission's Directorate-General for Research (DG Research).

A long-term aim of the Framework Programmes, both under the Euratom and the EC Treaties, is to establish a true 'European Research Area' (ERA) - a 'single market' for research in Europe with the aim to improve synergies and collaborations, reduce fragmentation and stimulate higher levels of research funding in general.