Honourable ministers, representatives of European institutions and industries, colleagues MEPs, ladies and gentleman
First of all let me express my gratitude to the EC for giving me an opportunity to participate in this significant event. As a citizen of Slovakia I am very proud of Slovakia together with Czech Republic having been chosen as an alternative seat for European Nuclear Energy Forum.
The importance of nuclear energy is quite obvious. Rapidly growing consumption, low energy efficiency and reducing energy resources is a challenge to which we have to face without unreasonable delay. Moreover, as it was emphasized several times here, external dependence for energy in the EU is constantly increasing. If no measures are taken, in the next 20 to 30 years 70% of the Union's energy requirements will be covered by imports.
Talking about energy, environment aspect is also to be seriously taken into account. Greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise in the Union as in the rest of the world. If nothing is done, the total energy picture in 2030 will continue to be dominated by fossil fuels.
European Nuclear Energy Forum thus constitutes a great opportunity to develop a roadmap for the future of nuclear energy in Europe which might solve most of the before mentioned difficulties. One of the most important aspects of this event is to send out a clear message to the citizens of the EU that sound development is prevailing after decades of reluctance against nuclear energy.
Nowadays we all recognize that it was short-sighted, more ideological than pragmatic policy. As a reliable source of energy nuclear is the right answer to the reduction of greenhouse emission and external energy dependency, while keeping all necessary safety conditions for the complex NPP operations.
Ladies and gentleman, in conclusion, let me point out the long experience of my country in using the nuclear energy, which on the present, represents about 55% of all electricity produced. Government commitment to the future of nuclear energy is strong and thanks to the strict safety standards the public opinion towards the use of nuclear energy is very positive. Up to 60% of all Slovak citizens, and even 78% of those living in the surroundings of nuclear power plants, accept nuclear energy as a significant energy source. These facts together with tremendous involvement of Slovenske elektrarne give a strong impetus for completion the construction of the remaining two units of the NPP in Mochovce and further development of the nuclear power in Slovakia.
Thank you very much for your attention.