Modernisation of the ECT: Championed by the EU, Derailed by Member States
Although the adoption of the modernised text of the Energy Charter Treaty (“ECT”) was scheduled for 22 November 2022, dissatisfaction among EU Member States has derailed the proposed revision of the treaty. While the European Commission was the original driving force behind the modernisation of the ECT and continued to champion reform of the regime, in recent months a growing number of EU Member States have decided to pursue withdrawal from the ECT, despite agreement in principle having been reached on the amendments in June 2022. France, Poland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Luxembourg have already announced their withdrawal. Not surprisingly, on 18 November 2022, the Council did not receive the required majority support for approval of the modernised text of the ECT and, as a result, at the request of the European Commission, the adoption of the amended ECT was removed from the agenda of the Energy Charter Conference and rescheduled to April 2023. With the European Parliament now calling for a coordinated exit from the ECT by EU Member States, the future of the revised ECT looks uncertain.