Brussels, 28 June 2006
The European Commission has decided to refer Italy to the European Court of Justice because Italian legislation does not comply with Euratom rules on the preparation of emergency plans and the prior information that must be provided to the general public in preparation for a radiological emergency.
The Commission’s attention was drawn to this matter by complaints relating to the transposition into Italian legislation of the provisions on the preparation of action plans to be applied in the event of a radiological emergency. The measures are contained in Directive 96/29/Euratom, while provisions on prior information concerning the planned health protection measures for people at risk from a radiological emergency, and the steps to be taken in the event of such an emergency, are contained in Directive 89/618/Euratom.
Despite receiving a reasoned opinion from the Commission, Italy has still not submitted provisions demonstrating that it has transposed the relevant European legislation in the meantime.
The Commission has found that the Italian Republic has not adopted all the necessary measures to comply with European legislation on preparation for radiological emergencies. In particular, the arrangements for applying the provisions on emergency and public information plans to the transport of radioactive material (among others) had not been sufficiently defined.
The existence of a complete set of national rules is essential to ensure a high level of protection for the general public against the effects of ionising radiation. When preparing for radiological emergencies, providing the general public with advance information plays a decisive role in minimising the health effects in the event of a radiological accident.
 Council Directive 96/29/Euratom of 13 May 1996 laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionising radiation (OJ L 159 of 29.6.1996, p.1)
 Council Directive 89/618/Euratom of 27 November 1989 on informing the general public about health protection measures to be applied and steps to be taken in the event of a radiological emergency (OJ L 357 of 19.4.1991, p.31)