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Commission presents parliament with Energy Charter Treaty exit plan

(EurActiv, 21 Mar 2024) The European Commission’s plan to withdraw the bloc from the Energy Charter Treaty while allowing member states the right to remain if they choose was presented to Parliament on Thursday (21 March).

After several member states like Germany, Poland, and France withdrew from the treaty, member state representatives agreed to a collective EU withdrawal from the agreement on 6 March.

But the Commission requires Parliament’s consent to make the departure final, and Cristina Lobillo Borrero, DG ENER’s head of energy policy, said it’s counting on Parliament’s support to approve the EU’s withdrawal as soon as possible.

“We hope that the relevant committees, INTA and ITRE, will proceed with the consent swiftly,” Lobillo Borrero said during Thursday’s debate on the proposal.

The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is a pact between nearly 50 countries, originally designed to foster international cooperation on energy matters. Critics of the treaty, including climate activists, argue that it hampered the EU’s ability to reach its climate and energy targets, as it allows investors to gain legal protection for their fossil fuel investments.

Initially, the Commission foresaw that all member states would automatically leave the treaty at once, but the updated proposal would allow member states to remain if they wish.

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EurActiv, 21 Mar 2024: Commission presents parliament with Energy Charter Treaty exit plan