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Investment | Brussels, 4 June 2021

Fifth negotiation round to modernise Energy Charter Treaty

The European Commission and the Member States participated in the fifth negotiation round on the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). The negotiations took place from 1 to 4 June by videoconference. The Contracting Parties discussed the topics of Transfers, Transit, Sustainable Development, Dispute Settlement and the Definition of Economic Activity.

The negotiations took off to a good start, with solid progress made on the topic of Transfers. On the other hand, negotiations on Transit matters will need to continue, and the Contracting Parties agreed to increase their efforts to reach consensus in an informal workshop.

 

Topics related to Sustainable Development received significant attention during the second and third day with proposals from a number of Contracting Parties. There is common understanding between the Contracting Parties in the areas of Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Impact Assessment. On other Sustainable Development topics, such as Climate Change and Energy Transition, some Contracting Parties could not agree at this stage.

 

After Sustainable Development, the Contracting Parties debated proposals on Dispute Settlement provisions. With regard to frivolous claims, there was progress in arriving at compromise text. On Security for Costs and Third Party Funding, the Contracting Parties share similar objectives, but differences in the details of the text proposals remain. Progress was also made on the principle of providing for increased transparency of the proceedings. Proposals on Valuation of Damages, Non-Disputing Parties, and Intervention by Third Parties will require further reflection and debate, although some common ground was identified.

 

The EU’s proposal on the Definition of Economic Activities received a mixed response. In general, most of the Contracting Parties underscored the need for a flexible approach given the fact that each Contracting Party has individual climate goals and specific energy mixes. It was agreed that the discussion on the proposal will continue in an informal setting.

 

Lastly, the EU’s outreach efforts to Contracting Parties that had not yet actively participated in the negotiations successfully drew in a number of additional delegations.

 

The Contracting Parties will now be meeting to work on compromise proposals that they will discuss during the sixth round of negotiations taking place 6-9 July 2021.

For more information

EU text proposal for the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treatyhttps://ec.europa.eu/trade/images/bg-linktype-document.png
EU additional submission to its text proposal for the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treatyhttps://ec.europa.eu/trade/images/bg-linktype-document.png
Public Communication on the fifth negotiation round of the Modernisation of the ECT