The Court of Justice of the European Union rejects Austria's case concerning the Paks project

11/30/22 3:00 PM
Four years of proceedings have come to an end with a decision in Hungary's favour, ruling that the project complies with EU standards.

- The decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union is a great victory for Hungary's energy security, said foreign minister Péter Szijjártó, commenting on the Court's rejection of Austria's claim against Paks II. 

The minister recalled that the decision, which is in Hungary's favour, concludes a procedure initiated four years ago. Austria sued the European Commission after the EU body authorised Hungary's plan to build two new reactors at Paks with the help of the nuclear power group Rosatom. In 2015, the EU body launched an investigation to clarify whether the financing of the Paks expansion complied with EU rules. The Commission adopted a positive decision in early March 2017. Austria challenged this approval in the EU court in 2018, arguing that nuclear power is neither a sustainable energy source nor the right answer to climate change.

Mr. Szijjártó emphasized that Hungary is taking great care to ensure that the Paks project meets the strictest environmental and other professional requirements, as safety is obviously the most important issue when building a nuclear power plant. He said that the Court of Justice of the EU has now confirmed that the licensing process complies with EU standards and that the financing of the project is also in line with European rules.

With this ruling, the Court has confirmed that the commissioning of the two new Paks units will not distort the market or hinder the use of renewable energy sources. The reasoning recalled that each country can determine its own energy mix and cannot be obliged to support alternative energy sources.

- The EU does not sanction the nuclear sector, but there are those who would hinder our investment. We ask them not to obstruct the Paks II project, as this is a long-term guarantee for the security of energy supply and the growth of the Hungarian economy – the minister pointed out.