A meeting of the parties to the UN convention on environmental impact assessment in a transboundary context (Espoo) took place last week in Minsk, Belarus. Among other things, it helped to showcase the influence that politics and the nuclear industry lobby have over decisions that have potentially severe impacts on European citizens’ health and the environment. The meeting – gathering over 200 people, including government delegates, civil society, EU officials and business – ended in an unprecedented way, without the endorsement of any decision, despite worrying evidence of the non-compliance of several governments’ nuclear energy plans. With many more decisions coming up in Europe on either the construction of plants, or the prolongation of old nuclear units, the lack of a decision following the Espoo meeting leaves no legal precedent for countries to follow. It also provides the public with even more unclarity on the participation procedures that ought to be followed.
EU Observer 3rd July 2017 read more »