On 2 February 2018, the Subgroup on Modernisation met for the first time to examine issues related to the modernisation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). The meeting was held at the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels and attracted over 70 interested attendees, representing Members and Observers of the Conference.
The primary focus of the meeting was to deliberate a path forward regarding potential clarifications or amendments to some of the provisions of the ECT. This included gathering thoughts and feedback from Observers Counties regarding the ECT, global energy cooperation, and new trends in international investment agreements. There were active participation and intervention by several attendees regarding universally-debated topics such as investment promotion and protection standards, the right to regulate, interpretation of the ECT, as well as transit and the transfer of technology.
This first meeting proved significant in initiating the modernisation process and in gathering opinions from a diverse array of participants. It also provided for the opportunity to appoint a Chair and Vice-Chair of the Subgroup. Ms Sofia Sanz Estebanez (Spain), was selected as Chair, and Mr Sunao Orii (Japan), as Vice-Chair. Meetings are being planned for the potential involvement of additional stakeholders such as industry.