French nuclear power plant Chooz
Hocquart C / Andia.fr / IMAGO
France has blocked an EU statement on climate and energy diplomacy.
This was confirmed to SPIEGEL by informed circles.
First, the dpa news agency, citing diplomats, reported that the government in Paris had insisted on including a pro-nuclear wording in the document.
Because countries like Germany did not want to accept this, the declaration could not be accepted as planned at a meeting of foreign ministers on Monday in Brussels.
Specifically, France is concerned with enabling the promotion of nuclear power plants in third countries in order to achieve climate and energy goals.
Actually, the EU declaration in this context should only deal with renewable energies such as wind and hydropower.
France had recently persuaded the EU Commission to make a nuclear-friendly proposal for rules for the production of renewable hydrogen.
In this way, the Commission wants to make it possible for hydrogen to be produced under certain circumstances using electricity from nuclear power.
France continues to rely heavily on nuclear reactors for power generation.
In their last declaration on the subject to date, the EU states emphasized in 2021 that the EU's energy diplomacy should primarily aim to accelerate the global energy transition - among other things by promoting energy efficiency and renewable technologies.
At the same time, further investments in fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure projects in third countries have been discouraged unless they are compatible with an ambitious climate neutrality path.
After the foreign ministers' meeting, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he was assuming that the "small unresolved problems" could be resolved.
The aim is therefore now to decide on the declaration in the coming days in a written procedure.