Relevance of the Court Decision on the Hinkley Point Nuclear Power Plant in Relation to Paks II

Dóra Lovas

Abstract


The aim of the article is to present the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the case of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant. This investment can also be related to the Paks II nuclear power plant investment, therefore the two investments are compared too. Both projects were examined by the European Commission, which take an important part when the national aid was awarded to Hinkley Point C and Paks II projects, and the decision of the CJEU also had influence on it. The author considers the European Commission’s aid conception positive, because the less developed countries are not forced to use only the renewables, but the environmental and security aspects of nuclear energy are also allowed (e.g. Hinkley Point C and Paks II nuclear power plants). The subsidy was allowed in both cases, but the reasons are different. In these cases, the limits of the EU energy politics can be seen, i.e. the right to select the package and the priority of the energy security and sustainable development. To mention an example for the difference, in Great Britain the energy sector was divided among the participants on the market but in Hungary the nuclear energy remained under state control. In the first option the state wanted to prove that it grants offset for the help to the general market services and in the second option the market investor principle was highlighted in order to show no other market participant act in other way. These points were not accepted, the state aid was provided both cases with permissible reasons because the projects condescend the goals of environmental policy and energy security. The decisions show that as a result of the efforts to protect the environment the dependency on energy increased and it cannot be solved only be encouraging the usage of the renewables. The permissive attitude of the European Commission can be found here and it is influenced by the increased state regulative roles. According to the author, it also appears in the environmentally friendly decisions which refers to the Paris Agreement’s fulfilment and the involvement of environmental requirements into politics. Moreover, the European Union tries to maintain its leader role in economics, which can be reached by the decrease of energy dependency and the exclusive usage of renewable energies is not the appropriate solution. The CJEU judgement is relevant in several respects. The article focuses primarily on the issue of environmental protection, state aid and the relation between the Euratom Treaty and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


Keywords


CJEU; European Commission; ruling; nuclear power plant; control; the EU energy politics; sustainable development; state

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References


LITERATURE

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Commission Decision (EU) 2015/658 of 8 October 2014 on the aid measure SA.34947 (2013/C) (ex 2013/N) which the United Kingdom is planning to implement for support to the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station (notified under document C(2014) 7142) (OJ EU L 109, 28.04.2015, pp. 44–116).

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/sil.2021.30.2.305-317
Data publikacji: 2021-06-30 23:19:02
Data złożenia artykułu: 2021-02-26 09:23:01


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