International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and European Union officials met this week for the second annual Senior Officials Meeting to review and further strengthen their nuclear-related cooperation.
The second Senior Officials Meeting followed the visit of IAEA Director General, Mr. Yukiya Amano, in Brussels earlier this month where he met with the President of the EU Commission, Mr. José Manuel Barroso; Energy Commissioner, Mr. Günther Oettinger; and other high-level EU officials to discuss enhanced cooperation between the EU institutions and the IAEA. In addition, Mr. Amano met with the EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on 2 February 2014 in Munich.
In the past year, the two institutions have improved collaboration in nuclear safety, security, safeguards and peaceful use of nuclear energy through implementing a number of initiatives. In 2013, new contracts for projects have been signed amounting to approximately 24 million euros. These included an EU Council decision to support IAEA nuclear security and verification activities worth of 8.05 million euros.
Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a framework for cooperation to help improve nuclear safety was signed, as well as the Practical Arrangement on technical nuclear security issues.
The EU and the IAEA have also worked to explore and identify new areas for cooperation such as using nuclear applications for socio-economic development.
The meeting was inaugurated by IAEA Director General Amano and co-chaired by Cornel Feruta, Chief Coordinator at the IAEA; Mara Marinaki, Managing Director for Global and Multilateral Issues in the European External Action Service; and Massimo Garribba, Director of Directorate General for Energy/European Commission. Other senior officials from the IAEA and the EU institutions participated in the meeting, which took place on 20 and 21 February 2014 in Vienna, Austria.
The meeting addressed enhanced cooperation in the areas of nuclear safety, nuclear security, nuclear applications, nuclear energy and safeguards. Participants agreed on the following steps, including holding a Senior Officials Meeting planned in early 2015 in the premises of the European Commission in Luxembourg.