Manifesto for the termination of Germany's EURATOM membership

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EURATOM – Nuclear Power’s Paper Fortress

Unchanged since 1957 – even despite Chernobyl and Fukushima! – those letters on paper that make up the EURATOM Treaty are much more powerful and influential than many are aware of, even within the antinuclear movement. Through tremendous privileges for nuclear industry and research laid down in the Treaty itself and in secondary EU legislation (binding regulations, guidelines, recommendations), EURATOM is the fertile ground on which grow new nuclear installations and, subsequently, ever more uranium mining, radioactive waste and weapons material proliferation. Ultimately, this means increased risks on the one hand, and more work, never-ending work for citizens.

Lately (2014), the British government and the European Commission (EC) have referred to the EURATOM Treaty (ET) in order to justify the approval of big subsidies for the planned nuclear power station HINKLEY POINT C. Probably because they know full well that the 1957 nuclear-euphoric preamble and introductory articles of the ET provide the only chance for the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to reject the forthcoming Austrian complaint against these subsidies, while EU competition rules would entail legal victory for Austria.

The Austrian antinuclear movement has a long tradition of EURATOM critique. Now the Salzburg Plattform gegen Atomgefahren (PLAGE) has elaborated a “EURATOM Manifesto for Germany”, as a tool to crystallize basic knowledge of the Treaty’s juridical and political momentum, and a common “EURATOM consciousness”, within the German antinuclear and renewables movement for a start. For so far, such knowledge and consciousness are quite limited. This is a condition for reaching out to the broader public later on.

German protagonists Hans Josef Fell (Green Party, co-author of the Renewable Energy Act, EEG) and Lutz Mez, an energy policy specialist at Freie Universität Berlin, have participated in setting up the Manifesto. Mind that we concentrate on Germany, since in the wake of the nuclear phase-out decision, it is in this country that EURATOM membership has become as absurd as it is in earlier non-nuclear member states (Austria, etc.). Therefore, the entire antinuclear movement all over Europe and even beyond should know about EURATOM critique and about this Manifesto for Germany. Yet practically, we are calling on antinuclear groups/organizations and personalities/leading figures within the German movement to sign the EURATOM Manifesto. In case you want more information, don’t hesitate to contact us at PLAGE, Salzburg, i.e. Heinz DOT Stockinger AT plage DOT cc[1], or Julia DOT Bohnert AT plage DOT cc[1].

Manifesto for the termination of Germany's EURATOM membership

The EURATOM Treaty (ET) established the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC) in 1957. It has never been substantially changed. Thus, it is a double anachronism: in substance, and with regard to how public opinion has evolved. The ET keeps spawning EU secondary legislation (ordinances, directives, cooperation treaties etc.), and continues to be highly effective in favour of the nuclear industry.

EURATOM’s supreme goal, “the development of a powerful nuclear industry” (Preamble), is by no means so obsolete for part of the European “elites” as it seems in nuclear-free or phase-out countries: to them, it is nuclear energy – not renewables – that shall lead Europe into a fossil-free era! New fission reactors, esp. fast breeders (“Generation-4” reactors; government decision already taken in France for a prototype named “Astrid”), and nuclear fusion (ITER reactor in the making at Cadarache, F) are to pave the way into Europe’s energy future. Both development lines are supported with billions through the Research and Training Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community.

Moreover, these reactor developments may be determined by military interest – a most likely background motive for clinging to nuclear power no matter what it costs, despite Chernobyl, Fukushima and public opinion. This two-fold civil-military objective has been stated explicitly by French admiral Pierre Lacoste, former German general army inspector Klaus-Dieter Naumann, prominent European politicians like François Mitterrand and former EU Commission president Jacques Delors, and others.[2]

Clinging so brazenly to the EURATOM bastion goes hand in hand with the undemocratic nature of the Atomic Community: in EURATOM matters, even today, the European Parlia-ment has no decisional powers, e.g. in the financing of nuclear power plants through cheap EURATOM loan billions (in Western Europe first, and in CEE countries since the 1990s).

All of this leads to massive distortion of competition on the back of renewables. The complaint filed by German municipal and regional utilities against the billions of tax-free provisions for nuclear waste disposal made by the German “Big Four” nuclear power com-panies was rejected by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2006 with reference to the EURATOM Treaty. In its approval of state subsidies for the planned Hinkley Point C plant (UK) in October 2014, the EU Commission has also invoked the promotion of nuclear investment as laid down in the 1957 EURATOM Treaty.

In spite of the nuclear phase-out, hundreds of millions of euros[3] are paid by Germany to the EURATOM research programme, on the back of her own energiewende, and of energy transition in Europe as a whole. With the phase-out decision, German EURATOM member-ship and payments for the Treaty’s nuclear power promotion purposes have definitely become absurd.

Three options for action: abolition, revision, withdrawal

Therefore, in its draft final report, Chancellor Merkel’s “Ethics Commission” for the post-Fukushima phase-out has recommended Germany’s withdrawal from EURATOM membership as “the better solution”.[4] Termination of the EURATOM Treaty (ET) lies in the power of each member state. Three expertises from German and Austrian universities[5] confirm that withdrawal from EURATOM is juridically feasible without affecting overall EU membership. The Lisbon Treaty, too, is positive and explicit on treaty termination. Useful elements of the ET can be shifted to other parts of the EU treaty system.

The other two options, ET abolition or revision, require agreement by all other member states. Therefore, they are utterly unrealistic: The German Bundestag (the Regions’ Chamber of Parliament) advocated a very concrete EURATOM reform proposed by the Saarland Region as early as 1989, in the wake of Chernobyl. And so did five EU member states in the EU Constitutional Process in 2005.[6] No revision conference has ever taken place, though. Nuclear countries may be brought more easily to agree to revision, however, if Germany decides to set that unprecedented, exemplary act: i.e. announce its withdrawal from EURATOM! And it was just this what the Bundestag in 2003 asked the Federal Government to do.

Therefore, I support the following demands addressed to the Federal Government and the Bundestag parties:

  • No more German support for the nuclear option in Europe!
  • Termination of EURATOM membership unless a Revision Conference is called within a limited period, and a real agenda for reform set up.

undersigned key persons[7]:

  1. Falko BERKEMEIER, Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz Lüchow-Danneberg e.V.
  2. Claus BIEGERT, Journalist & Mitbegründer des Nuclear-Free Future Award (NFFA)
  3. Prof. Dr. Christian BREYER, Lehrstuhl für Solar Economy, Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT, FINNLAND)
  4. Angelika CLAUßEN, Europavorsitzende IPPNW (Internationale Ärzte zur Verhütung des Atomkrieges – Ärzte in sozialer Verantwortung)
  5. Prof. Dr. Volker CRYSTALLA, Vorstand Rechtshilfefonds Schacht Konrad e.V.
  6. Dipl.-Ing. Thomas DERSEE, Hrsg. des Strahlentelex, Berlin
  7. Hans-Josef FELL, Präsident der Energy Watch Group; Mitglied des deutschen Bundestags 1998-2013 Bündnis 90/Die Grünen; Autor des Entwurfs des EEG 2000
  8. Dr. Dörte FOUQUET, Rechtsanwältin / Partner Kanzlei Becker Büttner Held, Leiterin Büro Brüssel mit Schwerpunkt Energie-, Umwelt- und Wettbewerbsrecht; Mitglied des Executive Board der Japan Renewable Energy Foundation
  9. Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang HEIN, Ministerialrat im österr. Wirtschafts- und Energieministerium; Vizepräs. EUROSOLAR
  10. Dr. Winfried HOFFMANN, Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der Solar-Fabrik AG; AR-Mitglied der SMA Solar Technology AG
  11. Dr. Andreas HORN, Vors. Sonnenkraft Freising e.V.
  12. Dr. Georg LÖSER, Vors. Ecotrinova e.V. Freiburg; 1978–2000 BUND-Energiereferent
  13. Siegfried LEITTRETTER, Leiter der Arbeitsstelle des bundesweiten Netzwerkes der Akteure der energetischen Gebäudemodernisierung
  14. PD Dr. Lutz MEZ, FU Berlin; REFORM Group (Restructuring Energy Systems For Optimal Resource Management)
  15. Prof.Dr. Andreas NIDECKER, Präs. IPPNW-Schweiz
  16. Dipl.-Phys. Dr. Sebastian PFLUGBEIL, Präs. Gesellschaft für Strahlenschutz (GSS) e.V.
  17. Kerstin Rudek, Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz Lüchow-Danneberg e.V.
  18. Wolfgang SCHLUPP-HAUCK, Vorstand Friedenswerkstatt-Pressehütte Mutlangen
  19. Prof.Dr. Inge SCHMITZ-FEUERHAKE, Lehrstuhl für Experimentelle Physik Universität Bremen, Präs. European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR), Vizepräs. Gesellschaft für Strahlenschutz (GSS) e.V.
  20. Prof.Dr.-Ing. Hans-Werner SCHOCK, Leiter i.R. des Instituts für Technologie des Helmholtz-Zentrums Berlin für Materialien & Energie; Hon.-Prof. TU Berlin
  21. Prof.Dr. Ernst SCHRIMPFF, 1. Vors. E.F. Schumacher-Gesellschaft für Politische Ökologie e.V.; Dt. Solarpreis 2012
  22. Hans SCHUIERER, Landrat i.R., Galionsfigur des Widerstandes gegen die WAA Wackersdorf
  23. Dirk SEIFERT, Blog
  24. Michael SLADEK, „Stromrebell“, Mitbegründer Elektrizitätswerke Schönau (EWS); seit 2014 Vorstandsmitglied Bündnis Bürgerenergie e.V.
  25. Sebastian SLADEK, GF Elektrizitätswerke Schönau Vertriebs GmbH (EWS)
  26. Ursula SLADEK, „Stromrebellin“, Mitbegründerin Elektrizitätswerke Schönau (EWS); u.a. Umweltpreis der Bundesstiftung Umwelt 2013; Goldman Environmental Prize 2011; Ashoka Social Entrepreneur 2008
  27. Jörg SOMMER, Vorstandsvorsitzender Deutsche Umweltstiftung; Mitglied Kommission „Lagerung hoch radioaktiver Abfallstoffe“ des Dt. Bundestags
  28. Dr. Eva STEGEN, Energiereferentin Elektrizitätswerke Schönau (EWS)
  29. Dipl.-Ing. Martin WINTER, Vors. Rosenheimer Solarverein (RoSolar)
  30. Günter WIPPEL, Vors. Uranium Network e.V.
  31. Dr. Klaus VON ZAHN, Leiter des Umweltschutzamtes Freiburg/Brsg.

undersigned key NGOs[7]:

  1. AG Uranium Network–MENSCHENRECHTE 3000 e.V., Freiburg
  2. AK Energie BUND Hamburg
  3. ARGE bayerischer Solarinitiativen (ABSI)
  4. Attac Baden-Baden
  5. Bayern Allianz für Atomausstieg und Klimaschutz (BAAK)
  6. BI Schwandorf
  7. Bund der Bürgerinitiativen Mittlerer Neckar e.V. (BBMN)
  8. Bund demokratischer Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler (BdWi)
  9. BUND Naturschutz in Bayern e.V.–Kreisgruppe Schwandorf
  10. BUND Naturschutz–Kreisgruppe Schweinfurt
  11. BUND Regional-Verband südlicher Oberrhein
  12. Bündnis für Atomausstieg und erneuerbare Energien-Regensburg
  13. Bürgerinitiative atomausstieg-groß-gerau
  14. Bürgerinitiative gegen atomare Anlagen Weiden-Neustadt/WN
  15. Bürgerinitiative gegen die atomare Bedrohung, Saarwellingen
  16. Bürgerinitiative Kiel gegen Atomanlagen
  17. Bürgerinitiative Umweltschutz Lüchow-Dannenberg
  18. Cattenom Non Merci e.V., Perl
  19. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sonnenenergie e.V.–Sektion Kassel
  20. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Strahlenschutz (GSS) e.V., Hannover
  21. Ecotrinova e.V., Gundelfingen
  22. Energie-Initiative Kirchberg e.V.
  23. Energiewende Landkreis Starnberg e.V.
  24. Ernst Friedrich Schumacher Gesellschaft e.V., Kirchseeon
  25. Franz Moll Stiftung für die kommenden Generationen, München
  26. Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie e.V., Köln
  27. Lüneburger Initiative gegen Atomanlagen
  28. Mütter gegen Atomkraft e.V., München
  29. NaturFreunde Holzgerlingen/Altdorf
  30. Nuclear-Free Future Award (NFFA), München
  31. Pressehütte-Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen e.V.
  32. Rechtshilfefonds Schacht Konrad e.V.
  33. Rosenheimer Solarverein e.V.
  34. Schweinfurter Aktionsbündnis gegen Atomkraft
  35. Sonnenkraft Freising e.V.
  36. Wolfenbütteler AtomAusstiegsGruppe

undersigned companies[7]:

  1. Bega Wasserkraft GmbH, GF Thomas Günther, Bochum
  2. Elektrizitätswerke Schönau (EWS), „Stromrebellen“ im Schwarzwald; 1. Ökostrom-Anbieter in D
  3. Elektro Marquardt, Inhaber Bruno Marquardt, Herrenberg
  4. E-Werk Neumühle Verwaltungs GmbH, Frank EPPINGER, Satteldorf
  5. Gehrlicher Solar Management GmbH & Co. Espana KG, Dipl.-Kfm. Ulrich HAUSHOFER,Haar/Reichersbeuern
  6. MANNE GmbH Kernloch- und Betonbohrungen, GF Manfred KÖNIG, Wolpertswende
  7. Lupo Energietechnik GbR, Gesellschafter Michael LUPBERGER & Otto BOOS, Fronreute
  8. Solarenergie Richard Kerscher GmbH, GF Richard Kerscher, Moosthenning



  1. 1.0 1.1 For protection against automatic email address robots searching for addresses to send spam to them this email address has been made unreadable for them. To get a correct mail address you have to displace "AT" by the @-symbol and "DOT" by the dot-character (".").
  2. “Will Europe, on ist way to unification, be able to overcome ist fears and superstitions and to progress toward full mastery of nuclear power? In its military form, it is doubtlessly bound to keep its indispensable role for years (…). In its industrial form, it warrants unlimited energy – the supreme condition for development and prosperity and thus for peace.“ P. LACOSTE, then president of the Fondation pour les Etudes de Défense Nationale, and one of the highest-ranking French officers. From his preface to Olivier PIROTTE et al.: Trente an d’expérience Euratom – La naissance d’une Europe nucléaire. Bruylant, Brussels 1988. – See references to Mitterrand, Delors and others in H. STOCKINGER: Atomstaat, zweiter Anlauf? Die zivile und militärische Integration Österreichs in die Europäische Atomgemeinschaft, publ. by the Austrian umbrella organization AntiAtomInternational(AAI), Vienna, 1993.
  3. In the run-up to the 2014 European Parliament elections, Mütter gegen Atomkraft e.V. (Mothers Against Nuclear Power) asked top candidates: „How much does Germany pay each year to fulfill EURATOM obligations?“ CDU, CSU and SPD answered in unison: „The current financing scope of the EURATOM research programme (2014-2018) amounts to a total of about 1.6 billion euros.“ Green MEP R. HARMS, a long-standing expert on the issue: „5.077 billion euros.“ – Now, the EURATOM research programme is by no means the whole expense: the EURATOM Fuel Suplly Agency (ESA), EURATOM loan management and European Investment Bank (EIB) financing, the Nuclear Safety Cooperation Facility (ex PHARE and TACIS aid to Eastern Europe programmes), etc., do not all formally belong under the EURATOM head-ing, yet have tob e counted among EU nuclear financing systems.
  4. Ethik-Kommission, living document Kap 1-all, 201 10504.
  5. Manfred ROTTER, University of Linz (2003); Michael GEISTLINGER, University of Salzburg (2005); Bernhard WEGENER, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (2007).
  6. Austria, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxemburg, Sweden.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 as of May 2015 - see: