Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the entering into negotiations on the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2019) 231
Publication Date 15/07/2019
Content Type


Recommendation put forward by the European Commission in May 2019 granting authorisation to enter into negotiations on behalf of the European Union (EU) for the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty.

Further information:

The Energy Charter Treaty is a multilateral agreement that provides a framework for trade and investment in the energy area. It was signed in December 1994 and entered into force for the European Union (EU) in April 1998.

The key provisions of the ECT concern the protection of investment, trade in energy materials and products, transit and dispute settlement. Most of its provisions were not revised since the 1990s. This was perceived to have created problems particularly in the area of investment protection, which was seen as no longer corresponding to modern standards. The list of topics for modernisation was approved on 27 November 2018 by the Energy Charter Ministerial Conference.

The European Commission adopted a Recommendation on 14 May 2019 for a Council Decision authorising it to enter into negotiations on the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty. The Council adopted such a Decision on 15 July for the matters that fall under EU competence. At the same time, representatives of national governments that are ECT parties meeting within the Council adopted a separate Decision for the elements falling under member states' competence.

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Commentary and Analysis
EurActiv, 24/06/2019: The Energy Charter Treaty, a case study of ‘business as usual’ in the energy sector

EurActiv, 07/06/2019: Leaked report reveals ‘misfunctioning’ of Energy Charter Treaty amid EU reform calls
EurActiv, 16/07/2019: EU asserts ‘right to regulate’ as part of energy charter treaty reform

Negotiating Directives for the Modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty
European Commission: DG Trade: News, 14/05/2019: Energy Charter Treaty modernisation: European Commission presents draft negotiating directives
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 15/07/2019: Council adopts negotiation directives for modernisation of Energy Charter Treaty

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