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Article

27 Jun 2022

Author:
EUobserver

European Parliament demands withdrawal from Energy Charter Treaty and reform of investor-state lawsuits

"MEPs demand to exit 'ecocide treaty' after reforms 'fail'", 24 June 2022

MEPs on Thursday (23 June) called on the European Commission and national capitals to ditch the controversial trade deal that could lock Europe into decades of fossil fuel use — echoing earlier demands made by the Spanish government and the Dutch parliament this week.

This little-known international agreement, officially the Energy Charter Treaty, protects investments in the energy industry — and it was signed by 50 countries, including all EU member states, back in 1994.

Now all EU states are signatories of the treaty except for Italy which withdrew in 2016. But Italy is still involved in an arbitration case over banning oil and gas project exploration in the Adriatic Sea since the treaty protects investments for decades despite countries' withdrawal.

[...] The European Commission since then has been trying to convince EU member states that treaty reform is the best way forward.

But the current proposal, which can still be subject to changes, has been slammed by MEPs, experts and campaigners for still being at odds with EU climate policies and EU law.

"The reform ambition for the controversial Energy Charter Treaty is not good enough…fossil fuels should no longer be protected," Green MEP Anna Cavazzini, lead MEP on the report, told EUobserver.

In her report on the future of EU international investments, EU lawmakers demanded an end to the ECT's most controversial mechanism — the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).

But attempts to reform the ISDS during modernisation negotiations have been blocked by Japan. [...]

Find the report on the future of EU international investment policy here.