21 March 2007: for immediate release

Anti-nuclear present for Piebalgs on nuclear treaty’s 50th birthday

On Friday 23rd March – two days before the EU’s 50th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the pro-nuclear Euratom Treaty, European Energy Commissioner Piebalgs will receive 27 unhappy birthday presents from anti-nuclear campaigners. Each gift box will be laden with petitions calling for an abolition of the Euratom Treaty and a phase out of nuclear power across Europe. Piebalgs will receive more than 630,000 signatures from individuals and more than 750 from organisations from all over Europe, including Britain.

WHAT: A visually interesting action in which gift boxes containing petitions are presented to Energy Commissioner Piebalgs. EU flags with the stars ironically replaced with radiation signs and a birthday cake will adorn the scene.

WHEN: Friday March 23rd at 11:00

WHERE: Outside the European Commission’s Berlaymont building, Rue de la Loi, 200, Brussels

WHO:- European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs
– The European Petition Campaign against Nuclear Power: atomstopp (Austria), Friends of the Earth Europe (EU/Brussels), GLOBAL 2000 (Austria), Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire (France), WISE – World Information Service on Energy (Netherlands), Women against Nuclear Power (Finland)

INTERVIEWS: To providing interesting national focuses, campaigners are available for interview from:
– Finland (protesting against the new Olkiluoto power plant)
– Austria (demanding to their government to leave Euratom)
– France (group of long-distance walkers protesting against the new Flamanville power plant)

The signatories of the petition demand of the European Commission to:
1) Stop or prevent the construction of new nuclear power plants and facilities in the European Union;
2) Launch a plan to abandon nuclear power within the European Union;
3) Invest massively in energy saving and the development of renewable energies; and
4) End the Euratom Treaty which massively supports nuclear power in Europe by means of public funding.
The Euratom Treaty was established in 1957, alongside the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community. Unlike the other founding agreements, which have been adjusted as the EU has matured, Euratom remains unchanged since 1957. Through Euratom, the EU continues to give preferential financial support to nuclear energy. Decisions about the Euratom budget are made without democratic input, as the European Parliament is given only a consultative role.

The European Petition Campaign against Nuclear Power stresses that nuclear power is still dangerous and produces a radioactive legacy of waste. Furthermore, the campaign warns that nuclear power is no solution to climate change, as in the complete production chain, considerable amounts of carbon dioxide are released. In addition, as nuclear power is extortionately expensive, building new power plants is economically risky and relies on a huge injection of public money.

The European Petition Campaign against Nuclear Power is supporting unilateral withdrawal of individual countries from the Euratom Treaty as campaigned for by Austrian and German NGOs.

Frank van Schaik (European Petition) +31-6-20295755
Roland Egger (atomstopp, Austria) +43-664-4215613
Sonja Meister (Friends of the Earth Europe, EU/Brussels) +32-48-4975107
Silva Herrmann (GLOBAL 2000, Austria) +43-699-14200017
André Larivière (Réseau Sortir du Nucléaire, France) +33-6-76695498
Peer de Rijk (WISE, Netherlands) +31-6-20000626
Ulla Klötzer (Women against Nuclear Power, Finland) +358-50-5690967