“Greenpeace calls for widening of EU investigation into Hungarian nuclear plant Press release – November 19, 2015
Brussels – The European Commission has launched a formal investigation into the construction of two nuclear reactors at the Paks nuclear power station in Hungary over a suspected breach of EU rules . Greenpeace has welcomed the move, but called for an expansion of the investigation.
The Commission suspects that the Hungarian government violated EU rules on public procurement when it awarded the project to Russian state owned energy company Rosatom. Greenpeace highlighted this and other concerns in April 2014 in a formal complaint  calling on the Commission to also investigate possible violations of EU state aid and internal energy market rules.
Commenting on the news, Greenpeace EU legal strategist Andrea Carta said: “This is a positive move by the Commission which should lead Hungary to reassess its nuclear energy plans. Paks would not be able to go ahead without massive subsidies from Russia and without the exclusion of competition from renewables or improved grid interconnection. This shows there is no place for nuclear power in a transparent and competitive energy market, let alone a clean energy system. We now call on the Commission to expand its investigation and look into possible violation of state aid and energy market rules.”
The two new reactors are expected to cost around €12.5 billion. Construction on the Paks site is yet to begin.
Bieńkowska said the Commission will send Hungary a formal notification tomorrow (19 November). Hungary will then have two months to ensure its compliance with EU law. If it fails to do so, the Commission can take Hungary to the European Court of Justice.
In January 2014, Hungary signed an agreement with Russia for cooperation on nuclear energy and a loan for the construction of the Paks plant.
http://www.greenpeace.org/eu-unit/en/News/2015/infringement-procedures-paks-nuclear-plant/” (Emphasis added)
From the EU:
“Commission opens infringement against HUNGARY for lack of compliance of the Paks nuclear power plant project with EU public procurement rules
The European Commission decided today to launch an infringement procedure against Hungary concerning the implementation of the Paks II nuclear power plant project. Following exchanges of information with the Hungarian authorities and a thorough assessment of the terms of the award, the Commission still has concerns regarding the compatibility of the project with EU public procurement rules. The Hungarian government has directly awarded the construction of two new reactors and the refurbishment of two additional reactors of the Paks II nuclear power plant without a transparent procedure. The Commission considers that the direct award of the Paks II nuclear power plant project does not comply with EU legislation on public procurement (Directives 2004/17/EC and 2004/18/EC). The Directives consolidate the basic principles of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union of transparency, non-discrimination, and equal treatment. These principles seek to ensure that all economic operators have fair chances to participate in a call for tender and to win a contract. The European Commission has decided to send a letter of formal notice to Hungary, which constitutes an official request for information and is the first step in an infringement procedure. The Hungarian authorities now have two months to respond to the arguments put forward by the Commission.” http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-6006_en.htm
Reuters mentions additional concerns by the Commission about the Paks nuclear power station being “overly dependent on Russia”.
“UPDATE 3-EU starts legal action over Hungary nuclear project Posted:Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:23:13 GMT
* Hungary says will press on with project (Adds Rosatom statement in paragraph 9) http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/USenergyNews/~3/vB5WAB_XJrY/story01.htm