Commentary on the Energy Charter Treaty
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Commentary on the Energy Charter Treaty

Edited by Rafael Leal-Arcas

The Commentary on the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) provides a unique, article-by-article, textual analysis of this important international agreement. The ECT outlines a multilateral framework for cross-border cooperation in the energy sector based on the principles of open competitive markets and sustainable development.
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Pierre Serra


This chapter contextualizes the trade regime defined by the Energy Charter Treaty. Designed to foster market openness in the field of energy for non-WTO countries, the ECT applies to countries which are WTO members and non-WTO members. Aiming at acclimatizing non-WTO countries to free trade, the Charter’s trade regime is alleviated and distinct from the WTO one. However, Article 4 closes the loop for WTO parties which are bound to the ECT. The formers cannot derogate from their WTO obligations on the basis of the Charter’s trade regime. Whence, the ECT does not affect trade interactions between WTO parties. Hence, this provision allows to the determine which trade regime applies – depending on the parties interacting with each other.

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