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27 Jul 2023


RWE's attempt to sue the Dutch state ruled inadmissible under EU law

RWE’s arbitration case against Dutch state over coal ban inadmissible under EU law, 27 July 2023

"Dutch taxpayers have already incurred € 5.4 million in arbitration costs in RWE and Uniper cases.

The arbitration case filed by German energy company RWE against the Dutch State based on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is inadmissible under EU law. That is what the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe ruled today in the appeal filed by RWE. The court thereby confirms the verdict of the Cologne District Court that already declared the arbitration cases by both RWE and Uniper inadmissible last year based on previous rulings of the European Court of Justice. The German ruling does not directly affect the arbitration proceedings, but it sends a strong signal that RWE disrespects EU law with its claim.

Both RWE and Uniper submitted a request for arbitration to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) based on the ECT in early 2021. In doing so, they claimed damages totalling €2.4 billion due to the introduction of the ban on the use of coal in power generation by 2030. 

In addition, RWE and Uniper also brought national proceedings. Late last year, the court in The Hague ruled that the measures taken by the Dutch government with the coal ban to reduce CO2 emissions were lawful, proportionate and foreseeable for the owners of the coal-fired power plants. Both RWE and Uniper have appealed..."