Council and Parliament vote in favour of the EU’s withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty

Energy charter treaty banner EPSU website

(25 April 2024) Yesterday, the European Parliament followed the decision of the Council and voted in favour of the European Union’s withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) with a large majority.

The ECT is a binding international agreement that came into force in 1994 to promote energy cooperation and ensure energy security through more open and competitive markets.

EPSU has repeatedly pointed out that the ECT is a major obstacle to the transition to clean energy. It allows fossil fuel companies to sue governments in private arbitration for financial compensation for implementing urgent climate policies.

EPSU has long called for a withdrawal of the ECT, both by the EU and its Member States. Several member states have already done so, including France, Germany, and Poland. The overdue decision of the EU to follow suit is highly necessary to achieve climate neutrality and meet its Green Deal commitments.

The Commission published its proposal on a Council decision on the withdrawal of the Union from the Energy Charter Treaty in July 2023. After several months of deadlock, the Council approved the proposal on the 7th of March, before the vote in the Parliament on 24th April.

EPSU welcomes the decision of the Council and the Parliament to withdraw from the ECT. The Treaty is fundamentally flawed and posed a serious threat to Europe’s climate goals. It seriously undermined the Green New Deal and Paris Climate Agreement by offering a mechanism allowing companies to sue countries that have signed the treaty if their climate related actions harm the companies’ profits, as EPSU has stressed on many occasions.