Thursday, June 13, 2024
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The European Union and Euratom leave the Energy Charter Treaty

The European Union and Euratom will leave the Energy Charter Treaty, while member states will be allowed to support its modernisation during the next Energy Charter Conference. The decisions are linked as they form the two pillars of a political compromise known as the Belgian roadmap on the Energy Charter Treaty.

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is a multilateral agreement that entered into force in 1998 and contains provisions on investment protection and trade in the energy sector. As this treaty is no longer in line with the Paris Agreement and the EU’s ambitions regarding the energy transition, a process of modernisation was initiated in 2018.

Member states who wish to remain contracting parties after the EU’s and Euratom’s withdrawal will be able to vote during the upcoming Energy Charter Conference – expected to take place by end-2024 – by approving or not opposing the adoption of a modernised agreement.

This way, by breaking the stalemate within the EU, the Belgian roadmap also unlocked the process of modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty for its non-EU contracting parties.

“[This adoption] represents the final milestone in the Belgian roadmap we crafted for the Energy Charter Treaty,” said Tinne Van der Straeten, Belgian Minister for Energy. “Building on the groundwork laid by our Swedish predecessors, the Belgian presidency has worked tirelessly to break this complex deadlock and found a balance acceptable and useful to all.”

The withdrawal will take effect one year after the receipt of the notification by the depositary of the treaty. The position to be taken by the remaining member states on modernisation will apply during the next Energy Charter Conference.

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