GLOBAL 2000: Commission provisionally rejects ECI “My Vote against Nuclear Power”

June 1, 2012 News

This is the English translation of today’s GLOBAL 2000 press release, produced by Paul Carline. The ECI Campaign does not campaign for or against specific cases such as nuclear energy etc. but supports their position that their ECI should be registered.

GLOBAL 2000 will take legal steps to allow an ECI against nuclear power to be held.

Vienna – the news from Brussels reached the Austrian environmental protection organisation GLOBAL 2000 late last night. The European Commission had provisionally rejected the ECI “My Vote against Nuclear Power” launched by GLOBAL 2000. Klaus Kastenhofer, director of GLOBAL 2000, stated: “This is a false start for the newly created possibility for more direct democracy – the ECI”. The rejection is based on the pretext that the “My Vote against Nuclear Power” initiative would contravene European primary law, in particular the EURATOM Treaty, and is therefore not permissible.

“That is simply wrong”, says environmental legal expert Thomas Alge. “The demands of the anti-nuclear power citizens’ initiative relate to those aspects which fall within the Lisbon Treaties of the EU. This means that the demands are quite clearly within the sphere of competence of the Commission and quite legally be made the subject of a European Citizens’ Initiative on behalf of concerned EU citizens. One example: the ECI asks the Commission to develop scenarios and criteria for closing Europe’s especially dangerous nuclear power plants. This is action to safeguard the principles of environmental protection, the precautionary principle, and basic human rights. This forms part of the Lisbon Treaty”.

The good news is that the Commission has not challenged six of the nine demands, including the demand for nuclear power to be taxed. “The three critical points will be the subject of further negotiation”, says Kastenhofer optimistically. At the same time, all available legal avenues will be explored and a modified initiative text will be submitted to the Commission after a thorough analysis of the Commission’s reasoning. “We will mobilise all the forces we can and exhaust all the legal possibilities in order to enable the citizens of the EU to communicate their wishes to the political representatives in Brussels”, says Kastenhofer. “GLOBAL 2000 was expecting to meet resistance to our goal of a nuclear-free Europe. The powerful nuclear lobby becomes nervous when European citizens raise their voices against nuclear power. Europeans don’t want nuclear power; it’s time this message was listened to in Brussels too”.

GLOBAL 2000 will continue to fight for the end of nuclear power generation in Europe and continue its preparations for an ECI on the issue. “I’m convinced that sooner or later our citizens’ initiative against nuclear power will be approved. We are therefore asking people to pre-register their support at”, says Kastenhofer.

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