European Union

The European Union (EU), in particular the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS), plays an important role in the development of cooperation policy and financing, and is an important strategic partner for the IAEA. The EU’s support to the Agency focuses particularly on projects/activities relating to nuclear safety and nuclear security. Support to nuclear safety projects are partly delivered through the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme.

The cooperation with European institutions started in 2003, when the European Community and the United Nations signed a Financial and Administrative Framework Agreement. In 2004, the IAEA and the European Community signed a contribution agreement to support IAEA Nuclear Security Programme activities and in 2005 the IAEA and the European Commission signed the first Contribution Agreement for a project in the field of nuclear safety.

Since then, the Agency and the EU have worked together on projects to address the development needs of IAEA Member States in the field of nuclear safety and to strengthen nuclear security worldwide. Nuclear safety projects address areas such as radiation protection, safe management of radioactive waste, environmental remediation, decommissioning, nuclear safety culture and emergency preparedness and response. Projects on nuclear security include universalization and implementation of the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its Amendment, physical protection of nuclear facilities, activities related to materials out of regulatory control, computer security, education and training and the establishment of new IAEA Nuclear Security Guidance.

In 2013, the IAEA and the European Commission affirmed their cooperation in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the area of nuclear safety, which was extended in 2017 and renewed in 2021 for an additional period of 18 months. This MoU outlines the partners’ intent to further strengthen cooperation, particularly in education and training, research and development, and capacity building. Cooperation carried out under the MoU enables the IAEA and the European Commission to work more effectively to enhance global nuclear and radiation safety.

Practical Arrangements

In 2009, Practical Arrangements were signed with the European Atomic Energy Community represented by the European Commission and by the Joint Research Center (JRC), which covered cooperation to enhance the relationship on research related to the environmental behavior of radioactive particles and analytical techniques in the field of radiochemistry; and another one focused on scientific and technical cooperation on nuclear safety, nuclear technology and energy planning issues.

In 2012, the IAEA Environment Laboratories and the JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements concluded Practical Arrangements in order to strengthen the collaboration in the implementation of ISO/IEC-17025 for chemical measurements in support of environment quality standards and exchange of experience and information in the field of analytical measurements.

Also in 2013, the IAEA and the European Commission signed Practical Arrangements on cooperation on nuclear security technical issues. These arrangements enable information sharing and provided a framework to jointly implement action on nuclear security of nuclear material and radioactive sources in Southeast Asia.

Moreover in 2017, the IAEA and the European Commission 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 European Commission Joint Research Centre, with a view to maximize the benefit of nuclear science applications for EU and IAEA Member States.

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