Energy Charter Treaty

FOREWORD The Energy Charter Treaty is a unique instrument for the promotion of international cooperation in the energy sector. The Treaty, which entered into force on 16 April 1998, and its related documents, all set out in a consolidated version in this booklet, provide an important legal and political basis for the creation of an open international energy market. The Treaty was preceded by a political declaration, the European Energy Charter adopted in The Hague on 17 December 1991. The European Energy Charter contained a commitment to negotiate in good faith a legally binding Energy Charter Treaty and Protocols. The International Energy Charter is a further political declaration adopted and signed in The Hague on 20 May 2015. This more recent political declaration reflects global modern energy challenges and maps out common principles and areas of international cooperation in the field of energy for the 21 st Century. As a result of the increased interest by the international community the Energy Charter Process has expanded to involve over 90 states from all continents. For many years the primary focus of the Contracting Parties was to ensure full implementation of the Treaty’s commitments. This entailed increased multilateral cooperation over transit, trade, investments, dispute resolution and energy efficiency. As global energy markets evolved, modernisation of the Energy Charter Process became a major objective for the Energy Charter constituency. Today there is a focus on the geographical expansion of the Energy Charter Treaty. The Treaty is open for accession by all countries and Regional Economic Integration Organisations (REIOs) committed to the observance of its principles of open and non-discriminatory energy markets. Several countries are today engaged in the accession process to the Treaty. Up-to-date information on the Energy Charter and its membership can be found at There is recognition by all of the need to ensure that the Energy Charter Process continues to build on its core principles while adapting to new challenges. The Energy Charter stands ready to play a key role in international energy governance in the 21 st Century. Dr. Urban Rusnák Secretary General Energy Charter Secretariat 15 January 2016