STOCKHOLM - France is planning a meeting on Tuesday with 12 other European Union countries, with the aim of building an alliance of states to advocate for nuclear power in EU energy policies.

The move comes amid a growing dispute between France and like-minded countries who want more EU policies to promote nuclear as a low-carbon energy source, and those like Germany and Spain who say the fuel should not be put on a level footing with renewable energy.

The meeting, convened by French energy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher on the sidelines of a meeting of EU countries' energy ministers in Stockholm, will focus on the contribution of nuclear energy to climate change goals and energy security, a French official said.

The aim is to form a pro-nuclear alliance with other countries ahead of EU negotiations, the official said, without specifying which policies these negotiations concerned.

The countries due to attend are Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Italy, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Croatia, the Netherlands and Finland, as well as the European Commission, the official said.

EU countries are responsible for their national energy mixes, and have varying views on nuclear.

France, Sweden and Hungary already use nuclear power, while other countries including Poland want to build their first reactors. Austria and Luxembourg oppose the energy source, citing concerns about radioactive waste and safety, while others including Germany are phasing out their reactors.

The disagreement on how to handle nuclear has already delayed negotiations on new EU renewable energy targets, after a push by Paris to have nuclear-driven hydrogen counted towards the goals. Countries including Denmark, Germany and Austria have said this could undermine efforts to expand renewable sources like wind and solar.

Officials say the dispute is spreading to other policies. EU countries failed last week to agree priorities for climate change diplomacy this year because of the row over nuclear, which has also threatened a multi-billion-euro hydrogen pipeline.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett, editing by Ed Osmond)