The High Level Liaison Committee, which is designed to ensure the implementation of nuclear safeguards between the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been re-launched at a meeting in Vienna.

The meeting reviewed principal matters in relation to the implementation of safeguards in the EU, and, according to the European Commission (EC), the involved parties agreed to strengthen their cooperation on the basis of their respective roles, reinforcing the effectiveness of mutual action.

The EC said that this strengthened alliance will be invaluable in ensuring that the highest standards of nuclear safety, security and non-proliferation are achieved, and that they are subsequently observed on an international scale.

The meeting of the High Level Liaison Committee, which is scheduled to reconvene in the second semester of 2007, coincided with the EC’s presentation of its key proposals for an ‘Energy Policy for Europe.’

These proposals highlighted that reinforced cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an important step towards promoting non-proliferation, nuclear safety and security; key priorities of the EU’s external energy policy for the forthcoming years. The proposals will be discussed at the next European Council on March 8, 2008 by the heads of state and government.

The High Level Liaison Committee meeting was co-chaired by Olli Heinonen, deputy director general of the IAEA, and Dominique Ristori, deputy director general of the EC’s directorate general for energy and transport. In addition, the current German EU presidency, as well as the previous and future presidencies, Finland and Portugal, were also represented in the EU delegation.