Recommendation for a COUNCIL DECISION approving the conclusion, by the European Commission, of the Agreement between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the European Atomic Energy Community for Cooperation on the Safe and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and the conclusion, by the European Commission, on behalf of the European Atomic Energy Community, of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, of the other part
1. The UK and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) have agreed a Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (the UK-Euratom NCA), which is entirely separate from the wider UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). To make this clear, Article 18 of the UK-Euratom NCA says that “This Agreement shall not constitute a supplementing agreement to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement”. But some of the subject matter in the UK-Euratom NCA is related to the TCA as the latter governs UK participation in specific nuclear research programmes that the UK has agreed to participate in (namely the Euratom Research and Training Programme and the European Joint Undertaking for the ITER fusion project “Fusion for Energy”).
2. The Commission recommendation that is the subject of this Explanatory Memorandum is for the Council to approve the UK-Euratom NCA and the parts of the TCA that relate to Euratom.
3. Nuclear Cooperation Agreements (NCAs) are commonly used international treaties which give legal underpinning to civil nuclear cooperation and provide key non-proliferation assurances, including in respect of nuclear safeguards, and a framework for nuclear trade. The UK-Euratom NCA achieves this in respect of cooperation between the UK and Euratom. Although Euratom is a separate entity to the European Union (EU), it should be noted that every member of the EU is also a member of Euratom, and there are no members of Euratom that are not members of the EU. The EU and Euratom share common institutional arrangements, such as these Council processes, and organisationally the Euratom team is part of DG Ener in the European Commission.