On 13 January 2004, the Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution on a controversial proposal by the Commission to grant Euratom loans to finance nuclear power stations in the Member States.
The report emphasises that such loans should not be granted according to criteria of "increased efficiency" alone, as the Commission had suggested, but that projects should only be funded if they improved safety, decommissioned installations or establish storage and disposal of radioactive waste and spent fuel.
The rapporteur Hiltrud Breyer (Greens EFA, Germany) withdrew from the report. "This is yet another example of the European Commission's keenness to promote nuclear energy. It is absolutely scandalous that MEPs support the funding of new nuclear projects within the Union," she said after the vote.
Environmentalist interest groups have long criticised what they see as an "institutional bias" in favour of nuclear energy represented by Euratom. The Treaty was in line for a potential revision in the IGC and rumours have it that an overhaul had been agreed on at the European Council in December before negotiations on the Constitution collapsed.
As part of the 'nuclear package', the Parliament on 13 December also adopted two reports on nuclear safety and nuclear waste management (see
EurActiv 14 January 2004