“There will be no postponing of arbitration in 2019,” the Office of Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Tuesday after the Standaard newspaper reported that the decision on phasing out Belgium’s nuclear plants could be postponed until after elections in 2019, as New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) leader Bart De Weever would like it to be. “The energy pact is, in fact, scheduled for 2018,” the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said. “The discussions continue but we do not negotiate through the press.
“A postponement would lead to legal insecurity for families and companies.”
The OPM recalled that the Federal Minister of Energy, Marie Christine Marghem, had been mandated to draw up a budget for the draft energy pact based on the Government Agreement and the law on phasing out nuclear power, confirmed in 2015, taking four criteria into account. These are: safeguarding the electricity supply; guaranteeing infrastructure; climate objectives and the cost to citizens and companies.
The Standaard had reported on Tuesday that the Government was seeking a compromise on a very strict monitoring of the nuclear phase-out, linked mainly to the issue of safeguarding the country’s electricity supply. According to this scenario, the monitoring would be done after 2019, which would allow the government to gain some time until 2021, the latest technical deadline for deciding on the fate of the nuclear plants, scheduled to be closed by 2025.