Austria loses court challenge to Hungarian nuclear plant state aid

11/30/2022 | 04:43am

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Austria on Wednesday lost its challenge against a European Commission decision five years ago allowing Hungary to expand its Paks atomic plant as Europe's second-highest court rejected all its arguments.

The country, which shares a border with Hungary, is a supporter of environmentally sound energy and has for decades opposed nuclear power over concerns about cleanliness, safety, and renewability.

Austria sued the Commission in 2018 after the EU executive in 2017 approved Hungary's plan to build two new reactors at its Paks nuclear site with the help of Russia's Rosatom following Hungarian authorities' pledge to take several measures to ensure fair competition.

"The General Court dismisses the action brought by Austria to contest Hungarian investment aid approved by the Commission," the Luxembourg-based court said.

"Member States are free to determine the composition of their own energy mix and that the Commission cannot require that State financing be allocated to alternative energy sources," judges said.

Austria can appeal on matters of law to the Court of Justice of the European Union, Europe's highest court.

The case is T-101/18 | Austria v Commission.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee. Editing by Jane Merriman)

By Foo Yun Chee

Reuters 2023
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