The EU Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) is to meet twice annually and will be organised jointly by the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It is intended that the forum should encourage renewed discussion and debate on the future of nuclear energy in Europe.
The European Commission announced the launch of ENEF on 15 June. The first meeting is likely to take place in Bratislava either at the end of September or beginning of October 2007 (with a more specific time to be announced by Slovakia). This was agreed in previous weeks by Topolanek and Fico, who then informed the European Commission.
On 9 March 2007, the European Council approved the 10 January 2007 Commission proposal to create a discussion forum on nuclear energy “that would allow all the relevant stakeholders to hold an open and transparent debate on nuclear energy”. This will be the first time that an energy forum is co-hosted by two countries, and it will also be the first energy forum to be hosted in new member states.
The aim of the forum is to relaunch discussions on nuclear energy in Europe, an issue that Czechs and Slovaks, who are big advocates of nuclear energy, are keen to promote. Under the patronage of the European Commission, representatives from EU institutions, member states, industry companies, NGOs and academia will discuss how nuclear energy can contribute to European energy policies, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and enhance the security of energy supply and competitiveness.
The forum will also seek to define the needs, problems and risks of nuclear power and to find ways in which to tackle them. Similar forums are organised regularly worldwide – eg the Sustainable Energy Forum in Amsterdam (renewable resources) and the European Gas Regulatory Forum in Madrid.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia have indicated that the forum could provide powerful arguments in the ongoing discussions on the composition of their energy mix. Nuclear energy presently accounts for 31% and 57% of electricity supply in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, respectively.