On 31 March 2011 the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded a European Atomic Energy Community Contribution Agreement with the IAEA, for the implementation of the project entitled "EC-IAEA Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear Safety - Integrated Regulatory Review Services in the EU". The overall objective is to provide additional resources to the IAEA to accelerate peer review activities in EU Member States, hence facilitating their compliance with their obligations under Article 9.3 of the Nuclear Safety Directive.
The coordination and cooperation activities on nuclear safety between the EC and the IAEA started in the beginning of 2005 with two programmes within the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Europe Programmes. These were followed by a project on emergency preparedness and response (Incident and Emergency Centre). Finally, the most recent joint efforts were concluded under an EC-IAEA Joint Project for Ukraine, in the field of Safety Evaluations of NPPs, successfully completed in February 2010.
One reason for increased cooperation between the EC and the IAEA rests within the fact that the IAEA is carrying out projects that are addressing the resolution of generic safety issues, based on developing and disseminating well recognized international safety standards and guidelines. Such activities fall under the development of the Agency’s initiatives, programmes and applications, whereas the IAEA has the mandate and competence to assist countries in the development of their nuclear safety infrastructure. And, for this particular case, it is of utmost importance that regulatory aspects are developed and brought to a commonly accepted level.