European Union

The institutions of the European Union (EU), in particular the European Commission (EC), play an important role in development cooperation policy and financing, and are important strategic partners for the IAEA. The EC’s support to the Agency focuses particularly on nuclear safety and technical cooperation.

The EC and the IAEA have been cooperating since 2003, when the European Community and the United Nations signed a Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement. In 2005, the IAEA and the EC signed the first Contribution Agreement for a project in the field of nuclear safety. Since then, the Agency and the EC have worked together on projects to address the development needs of IAEA Member States in the field of nuclear safety. The projects address areas such as radiation protection, safe management of radioactive waste, environmental remediation, decommissioning, nuclear safety culture and emergency preparedness and response.

The work has been conducted through several agreements under the auspices of the EU Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States programme, the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance and the Instrument for Stability.

In 2013, the IAEA and the EC affirmed their cooperation in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was extended in 2017. This MoU outlines the partners’ intent to further strengthen cooperation, particularly in education and training, research and development as well as capacity building. Cooperation carried out under the MoU enables the IAEA and the EC to work more effectively to enhance global nuclear and radiation safety.

In 2017, the IAEA and the EC signed Practical Arrangements on Cooperation on Nuclear Science Applications and reviewed the potential for joint activities and cooperation between the two institutions, especially through the EC Joint Research Centre, with a view to maximize the benefit of nuclear science applications for EU and IAEA Member States.

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