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Another Brussels blow looming over the Paks project

November 21st, 2015

While the government prepares its answers to the objections raised by the European Commission, analysts see another and even heavier infringement procedure brewing in Brussels in connection with the extension of Hungary’s nuclear power station.

On Válasz, Zoltán Laky believes the Hungarian government has a strong argument to answer the accusation that it wantonly bypassed European procurement rules when it commissioned Russia’s Rosatom to build the two new nuclear power blocks in Paks without inviting tenders. He quotes Cabinet Minister János Lázár who said Hungary just followed in the footsteps of all other member countries who have launched similar projects and ‘none invited tenders’. In a casual remark, Mr Lázár also called a potential infringement procedure on grounds of illicit public subsidies “way heavier”. The European Commission is in fact pondering whether Hungary is planning to break the rules of free competition with its plan to disregard building costs in calculating the price of the electric energy to be produced by the two future blocks at Paks.

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