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Barroso OKs Paks deal, provides “substantial observations”

A day after government sources revealed Prime Minister Viktor Orbán had sent in November 2013 an appeal and draft agreement to European Commission President José Manuel Barroso regarding construction of an extension to the Paks nuclear power plant, details of Barroso’s reply of February 7 were released.

Barroso replied with “some substantial observations but raised no objections of principle to the agreement from the perspective of article 103 [of the Euratom Treaty]” regarding the plan for Russian state-owned Rosatom to provide funding for construction of two additional blocks at the plant.

Wrote Barroso in part, “Progress towards a common European energy policy is made possible because the Commission respects Member States’ basic choices concerning their energy mix. Conversely, Member States’ commitment to comply fully with the rules of the treaties and secondary legislation, in particular those governing the internal energy market, and to act in a spirit of coordination and full transparency, remains vital,” though “There are, of course, other aspects of EU law to be observed, such as the rules on public procurement and state aid.”

Barroso wrote that the Hungarian government will be depended on to display “the same constructive and transparent approach towards addressing these issues in relation to Paks and Hungarian energy policy more generally.”