The European Commission has published a communication on nuclear sector related activities undertaken by the EU since 1990 in the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) and in the New Independent States of the former Soviet Union (NIS). The objective of this communication is to provide an overview of these activities and to present ways forward with respect to programming and programme implementation. The communication is presented against the background of recent developments in EU relations with these countries, including the recently launched accession process with the candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the entry into force of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements with the NIS, and experience gained in recent years in the implementation of EU programmes to enhance nuclear safety in the countries concerned. The whole energy reform process is not covered in the communication, but rather the focus is on adjustments to the EU's nuclear assistance programmes, providing an overview of all relevant instruments which aim to improve nuclear safety and security. The most active of these instruments are the PHARE and TACIS technical assistance programmes, the Euratom loan facility and the SYNERGY programme for international cooperation in the energy field. The results of these initiatives are summarized, and the achievements of projects on nuclear power plant safety, radiation protection, assistance for nuclear regulators, emergency procedures, radioactive waste management and research are also presented. The communication provides a breakdown of new orientations for nuclear safety activities including the Commission's strategy in the context of Agenda 2000, and the reorientation of the TACIS programme in the NIS by placing more emphasis on nuclear safety activities. Recommendations in the field of research are outlined to further integrate research organizations. This would include association with the research programmes foreseen under the planned Fifth RTD Framework Programme, through the applicant countries contributing to the programmes' budgets in return for participation rights, and by mobilizing Community finance to facilitate CEEC/NIS participation.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Belarus, Czechia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan