European Commission E-Track open seminar on public participation
The European Commission has started an effort called E-Track (Energy – Transparency Centre of Knowledge) for the promotion and enhancement of public participation in the implementation of energy policies. The project is a joint initiative from the Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). The area of radioactive waste management was selected as the E-Track pilot project .
On 23rd October 2014, the E-Track RWM project held a first open seminar in Amsterdam with the title “The role of public participation in radioactive waste management and other sectors: Lessons learnt from research and practice”. At the seminar, presentations were made by, amongst others, representatives from the European Commission, the Aarhus Convention Secretariat at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, nuclear waste communities, the nuclear industry and academia. It was clear from the presentations that much work remains to be done when implementing the articles on transparency and public participation in the Radioactive Waste Directive (2011/70/EURATOM) in the decision-making processes on radioactive waste projects in the member states.
You can find the report from the seminar with the presentations here as well as an information leaflet on the E-track project here.
NTW welcomes E-track
NTW supports E-track and Johan Swahn is the NTW representative in the E-Track Advisory Group. NTW is working for more environmental NGO representation on the agenda and in the audience of the E-track project.
NTW welcomes the concept of E-TRACK which strengths effective public involvement in Radioactive Waste Management decision-making, including taking due account of their opinions, and raise major public concerns. If we can raise the level of knowledge, debate and understanding among the general public it will give policy makers and implementers greater confidence in making long term decisions about sensitive projects and at the same time show how consumers and affected citizens can effectively bring in their own viewpoints and raise concerns.
One and a half years after E-track setting up, NTW shares the Advisory group concern about the current state and future of the project: inadequate resources, limited use of information collection, the lack of political support, etc. NTW fully supports the statement of members of the Advisory Group and calls for an assurance from the European Commission to further invest in the necessary human, financial and technical capacities for developing E-track.
Download the E-track Advisory Group statement of 29 November 2015.