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News article5 October 2021BrusselsDirectorate-General for Trade

Energy Charter Treaty: Progress continues in modernisation negotiations

The European Commission and EU Member States participated in the seventh negotiation round on the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) from 28 September to 1 October.

The key objectives of the Commission’s proposal for the modernisation of the ECT are to update investment protection standards in order to ensure that the ECT facilitates the EU’s climate action and energy transition in line with the European Green Deal and the Paris Agreement. In this context, the Modernisation Group discussed this week important subjects, such as Investment Protection, Transit, Sustainable Development, Dispute Settlement and the Definition of Economic Activity.

As regards Investment, the group discussed the scope of the umbrella clause (a clause that obliges the host state to observe commitments towards its foreign investors), the last remaining issue from the Investment Protection topic. The negotiations on Transit matters continued after an informal workshop earlier in September and it was agreed that the ECT Secretariat will start drafting compromise proposals. As for Sustainable Development, there is now a set of compromise proposals on the table as well. Discussions continued on the proposals on Dispute Settlement provisions. Finally, the group discussed ways forward on the Definition of Economic Activities (relevant for the scope of the investment protection for fossil fuels) after an earlier informal exchange. The ECT Secretariat presented draft text proposals and Contracting Parties discussed the different options.

The Contracting Parties will now start preparing the eighth and last planned round of negotiations this year, taking place from 9 to 12 November 2021.

For more information

EU text proposal for the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty
EU additional submission to its text proposal for the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty
Public Communication on the Seventh Negotiation Round of the Modernisation of the ECT 
Energy Charter Treaty: substantial progress achieved in modernisation negotiations


Publication date
5 October 2021
Directorate-General for Trade
Trade topics