The Energy Charter Treaty and settlement of disputes - current challenges

AuthorIuliana-Gabriela Iacob/Ramona-Elisabeta Cirlig
The Energy Charter Treaty and settlement of disputes current
Iuliana-Gabriela IACOB1
Ramona-Elisabeta CIRLIG2
The Energy Charter Treaty (the “ECT”) is a multilateral agreement aiming to
promote energy cooperation and security. This paper focuses on the provisions of the ECT
governing the protection of foreig n investments and the settlement of disputes b etween
investors a nd host states. In particular, this paper analyses the recent developments and
challenges in the field of dispute settlement und er the ECT, such as the increase in
arbitrations, the withdrawal of Italy from the ECT, as well as the interplay between EU law
and the ECT.
Keywords: the Energy Charter Treaty, foreign investment protection, dispute
settlement, investment arbitration, European Union law
JEL Classification: K33, K41
` 1. Introduction
In recent years, energy has become a central topic of debate for the
international community3. Energy efficiency4, increased collaboration in the field
of energy5 and strong energy markets have been described as essential factors to
achieve sustainable development and economic growth. A priority for numerous
countries, development of the energy infrastructure entails complex long-term
projects reliant on foreign investments6. In search for development opportunities,
1 Iuliana-Gabriela Iacob Lawyer, Bucharest Bar, Romania, .
2 Ramona-Elisabeta Cirlig - Lawyer, Bucharest Bar, Romania, .
3 Tomasz Bąk, Potential Impact of the Energy Charter Treaty on FDI Promotion and Protection in view of
Global Trends, Energy Governance and Possible Actions towards ECT Non-Members, Energy Charter
Secretariat, Knowledge Centre 2013, p 4, available at: fileadmin/
DocumentsMedia/Occasional/ECT_and_FDI.pdf, last accessed 17 November 2015.
4 UN Document The Future We Want endorsed by the UN Conference on Sustainable
Development, June 2012, p 34, available at https://su
documents/733FutureWeWant.pdf, last accessed 17 November 2015.
5 G20 Leaders’ Communiqué, Brisbane G20 Leaders’ Summit, 15-16 November 2014, available at:, last
accessed 17 November 2015.
6 Félix J. Montero and Laura Ruiz, The concepts of Investor and Investment under the ECT and the
legal standing to bring arbitrations un der the ECT, Spain Arbitration Review, Wolters Klu wer
España 2015, Volume 2015, Issue 23, pp. 79 94.

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