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Policy | Brussels, 15 July 2019

Energy Charter Treaty modernisation: Commission welcomes Council’s mandate

The European Commission welcomes today’s decision by the Council to adopt the negotiating directives for the ongoing process of modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT).

The European Union Member States gave their green light to the European Commission’s proposal to negotiate the modernisation of the investment protection standards contained in the ECT along the lines of the European Union’s reformed approach.

Moreover, the Council supported the European Commission’s recommendations for the modernised ECT to provide stronger provisions on sustainable development, including on climate change and the clean energy transition, in line with recently concluded agreements and European Union positions in ongoing negotiations. The Council also agreed with the Commission's proposals that the ECT should contribute to the promotion of human rights and international labour standards, including through provisions on transparency and responsible business conduct.

Background

The ECT is a plurilateral trade and investment agreement applicable to the energy sector. It was signed by the European Union (EU) in December 1994 and entered into force for the EU in April 1998. To date, the ECT has been acceded to by 52 states, as well as the EU and EURATOM. The EU Member States represent roughly half of the Energy Charter Conference membership, as well as of the Contracting Parties to the ECT.

More information

The negotiating directives

Commission proposal for negotiating mandate and annex 

EU foreign investment policy