The next (seventh) Meeting of the Parties to the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context will take place in Minsk (Belarus) in June 2017. Last week the representatives of over 40 countries gathered in Geneva to make final preparations.
Application of the Convention to nuclear activities seems to be the most important agenda issue of the upcoming Meeting of the Parties. In particular, this has high importance for Ukraine, which was subject to a non-compliance decision in 2014 in relation to life time extension of two nuclear reactors at Rivne nuclear power plant. This decision had much resonance among other parties, in particular “nuclear” countries, in Europe. In June 2017 the Meeting of the Parties will adopt a good practice recommendations on application of the Espoo Convention to nuclear activities, including referring to Ukrainian case. In addition, the upcoming Meeting of the Parties will feature a side event on this issue. Last time, 2014 meeting in Geneva, a similar event was organized by civil society organizations. Now it is the EU turn.
In addition to regular formal issues, such as adoption of a work plan for the next three years, the Meeting of the Parties will include panel discussions, including on climate change.