Euractiv | 17 November 2022
Slovenia withdraws from Energy Charter Treaty
By Maja Slana
Slovenia is no longer a party to the Energy Charter Treaty after the Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously endorsed the government’s proposal to withdraw on Wednesday (16 November).
The parliamentary committee endorsed the government’s initiative without a single vote against it and without debate. Slovenia joins Italy, which has already withdrawn from the treaty, while Poland, Spain, the Netherlands, and France announced they would do the same.
When it first announced the move, the government said that the 1998 treaty had started losing significance, with the EU enlargement and further integration allowing new and better possibilities for investment cooperation in the energy sector and the legal safety of those involved.
The government said that one of the most outdated aspects of the treaty is the instrument of investment dispute resolution, which allows investors to take a signatory to international arbitration while bypassing regular courts.
The decision comes after the UK energy and natural resources company Ascent Resources initiated an arbitration proceeding against Slovenia under the Energy Charter Treaty after complications emerged in the country’s green-lighting the company’s gas project near Lendava in the northeast.
Slovenia has decided to withdraw even though an agreement in principle was reached in June to update the treaty. The country believes the proposed amendments would bring much-needed changes, but these do not go far enough.
Slovenia will retain observer status within the signatories conference. It will also remain a signatory of the 2015 Energy Charter.