On 12 July 2018, the General Court (GC) dismissed Austria's action for annulment of the Commission Decision approving the UK's aid scheme for the Hinkley Point nuclear power plant. In 2014, the Commission approved the scheme which it considered necessary for attaining the public interest objective of creating new nuclear energy generating capacity. Austria argued that the promotion of nuclear electricity cannot be an objective of common interest when it does not take into account the legitimate interests of a single Member State and when some Member States have always rejected the notion that the construction of new nuclear reactors is a European objective of common interest. Moreover, Austria argued that the technology used at Hinkley Point is not new and that the intervention of the UK is not necessary. The GC however ruled that the creation of new nuclear energy production capacities relates to the goal of the Euratom Community to facilitate investment in the nuclear field, and that the provisions of the EU Treaty and of the TFEU Treaty are not to derogate from the provisions of the Euratom Treaty. The GC further held that state intervention was necessary to create new nuclear energy generating capacity, taking into consideration the substantial risks relating to investments in nuclear energy. Finally, the GC underlined that the UK has the right to determine its own energy mix and to use nuclear energy as a source in that mix.

Read full judgment