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The exercise of giving way to 'giving in'—some aspects of the Member States' EURATOM obligations revisited

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image of Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law

Although an issue far from the spotlight of attention of academic researchers, it is often said that the European Atomic Energy Community Treaty (EURATOM) and the obligations incumbent on the member states under this Treaty account for a greater loss of national sovereignty than envisaged by the European Community Treaty and its internal market component as arguably the most 'communautaire' component of all.

Article 84 of the EURATOM Treaty excludes the application of the Treaty from cases of military uses of nuclear energy, nevertheless, on several occasions the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had to pronounce itself on the legal 'grey zone' issue of what is indeed considered as peaceful use of nuclear energy and the legal regime to be applied thereby. This was the substance of the issues raised in cases C-61/03 Commission v. UK and C-65/04 Commission v. UK.

Through a comparative analysis of the relevant case law it is interesting to observe how in the matter of defining the EURATOM competences the ECJ is adamant to the use of 'policy-oriented' arguments, otherwise affluently used with respect to affording new competences to the European Community (EC), EURATOM's 1957 contemporary.


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