Mouvement Ecologique congress on 21 March 2024; Credit: Mouvement Ecologique

Local environmental NGO Mouvement Ecologique has criticised recent comments made by Luxembourg's Prime Minister Luc Frieden concerning nuclear power.

The Prime Minister made the remarks during a summit in Brussels on Thursday 21 March 2024. The statements were considered a change of position on nuclear power policy: he spoke about the government's continued wish to close power plants near Luxembourg's border but also its openness to technology and research in the area of nuclear energy. He also mentioned a less "idealogical" approach to nuclear power.

Mouvement Ecologique argued in its press release that Luc Frieden "broke a taboo [on Thursday] by becoming the first prime minister to soften Luxembourg's strong position against nuclear power". The NGO said that Luxembourg could be proud of its "consistent anti-nuclear policy and for the promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy since the 1980s".

Prime Minister Frieden's remarks sparked controversy not just for their content but also over allegations that he had not consulted the government council (cabinet) on the matter. According to Mouvement Ecologique, the Minister of the Environment, Serge Wilmes, had said something different when speaking about the government's anti-nuclear stance at the NGO's congress that same day. "Even after questions, he [Minister Wilmes] made it clear that this government would not change course," read the statement.

The NGO concluded that it "expects that Luxembourg's anti-nuclear policy will be maintained without any ifs and buts and is counting on the voice of the environment to show its profile within this government."