EC suggests withdrawal is a possibility as Energy Charter Treaty modernization negotiations continue

On December 2, 2020, in an answer to questions submitted by MEPs, the EC suggested that the EU could exit the ECT.

Specifically, the Commission stated that if the modernization efforts do not meet core EU objectives related to the environment, such as alignment with the Paris Agreement, “in a reasonable timeframe”, withdrawal from the treaty would be considered.

The latest round of ECT modernization negotiations took place via video conference from November 3 to 6, 2020.

According to the ECT, negotiations focused on pre-investment, regional organizations, and obsolete provisions, as well as continuing to discuss topics from the previous negotiation rounds. The latter included definitions of investor and investment and other standards of investment protection, frivolous claims, third-party funding, and security for costs.

As we reported, in 2019 the ECT released a document outlining the positions held by various signatories on these issues.

A progress report, which we will report on in turn, will be presented at the year-end Energy Charter Conference. The next round of talks will be held in February or March 2021.