MEPs refuse to sign off on budget for ITER nuclear fusion project

EU Reporter

nuclear power

The European Parliament’s lead budgetary control committee held its annual vote on the discharge of the EU budget on 4 April.

MEPs voted unanimously to refuse to recommend granting a discharge to the EU budget line for the ITER nuclear fusion project. The report voted by the committee highlights concerns with cost overruns, delays and mismanagement.

The European Parliament is responsible for granting discharge to the annual EU budget. Where concerns about budgetary irregularities are raised, MEPs may withhold or postpone the discharge of sections of the budget. The European Parliament’s budgetary control committee is the responsible committee, which forwards its recommendation to plenary.

Commenting after the vote, Green budgetary transparency spokesperson Igor Soltes said: “The ITER nuclear fusion project is a costly white elephant for which the European taxpayer is being left to foot the bill. MEPs have today raised serious concerns with the project, which relies on the EU budget for a large proportion of its funding. Citing concerns about further future cost overruns, delays, mismanagement in the ITER agency and the negative impact on other EU budget lines, MEPs have refused to grant a discharge to the EU budget line on ITER. Setting aside the serious doubts about the viability of the project, it is clear that its ballooning budget does not represent a reasonable use of taxpayers’ money and we hope parliament’s plenary will replicate today’s vote and withhold granting a discharge to ITER when the vote takes place.”

For more information on the annual budget discharge, click here.