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Nuclear Law in Europe: Issues and Challenges Discussed at IAEA Workshop in Vienna

Participants in the IAEA Regional Workshop on Nuclear Law for European Member States.

A regional workshop on Nuclear Law for European Member States was held in Vienna from 6 to 10 November 2017.

In his opening remarks, Wolfram Tonhauser, Section Head, Nuclear and Treaty Law Section of the IAEA Office of Legal Affairs, noted that “the need for this type of forum has become evident in recent years, particularly as countries in the region seek to revise their legislation to reflect the most recent developments in nuclear law”.

Sandra Marie Steyskal, Section Head, Division for Europe of the Department of Technical Cooperation, highlighted that “an important outcome of the workshop, will be the identification of specific activities to be implemented by the IAEA in the next two years to address the needs of participating Member States in terms of legislative assistance to support them in enhancing their national legal frameworks".

During the workshop, which followed similar regional events conducted for Africa, Asia and Latin America, participants heard about the principles of nuclear law, the international legal instruments adopted in the areas of nuclear safety, security, safeguards and civil liability for nuclear damage, as well as about the elements of a comprehensive national nuclear legal framework.

Participants also made national presentations on the status of nuclear legislation in their respective countries, showing that currently in many countries of the region one of the main issues being considered is the incorporation of European Union directives pertaining to radiation protection and safety, and of international obligations in different areas of nuclear law, into their national legal system. Participants also developed work plans with the IAEA identifying how the IAEA may best support them in these endeavours through its legislative assistance programme.

The event gathered participants from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine, and provided a venue to exchange views on the international and the national legal framework for the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, on current issues and common challenges in nuclear law, as well as on the IAEA’s legislative assistance in the region.

An important outcome of the workshop will be the identification of specific activities to be implemented by the IAEA in the next two years to address the needs of participating Member States in terms of legislative assistance.
Sandra Marie Steyskal, Section Head, Division for Europe of the Department of Technical Cooperation

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