Following a proposal from the German EU Presidency, the Council of the European Union adopted the establishment of a High Level Group (HLG) in its Conclusions of 8 May 2007 in order to provide a continued guarantee and improvement of the safety of nuclear facilities as well as the safe disposal of spent fuel elements and radioactive waste. The High Level Group was established by a European Commission decision dated 17th July 2007. Two senior representatives from each member state and the Commission are represented in the Group which was renamed ENSREG (European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group). ENSREG advises and supports the Commission and facilitates coordination and cooperation among national regulators. The group submits a bi-annual report to the Council and the European Parliament.
Work in ENSREG is carried out by four expert working groups. The first working group is responsible for nuclear safety, the second for issues of nuclear waste disposal and a third working group was established to deal with transparency and public involvement. A fourth working group was set up in 2013 to support the Commission in international issues of nuclear safety.
Following the nuclear accident in the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima Daiichi, it was agreed in ENSREG that all European nuclear power plants should undergo stress tests with a subsequent peer review. The group was substantially involved in the review of the Council Directive establishing a framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations which was adopted on 8. July 2014 (Directive 2014/87/Euratom).
ENSREG was also involved in the drafting of the Directive establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste (Directive 2011/70/Euratom) and it advises member states on the implementation of these directives.
ENSREG meetings take place several times per year. Moreover, ENSREG also organises the conference entitled "Nuclear Safety in Europe" on a bi-annual basis (last: 20 to 21 June 2022 in Brussels). Further information on the program, presentations and some transcripts of the speeches held there can be found on the ENSREG homepage.