The Energy Community Secretariat's Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Centre was established as a response to signals that the settlement alternatives currently available for energy disputes no longer respond to the needs of national authorities and stakeholders, in particular small and medium enterprises and consumers.
Pursuant to Procedural Act 2016/03-EnC, the Centre focuses on three pillars:
- negotiations and mediation of investor-state disputes,
- facilitation for the swift closure of dispute settlement cases under the Energy Community Treaty, and
- negotiation support to national authorities in their negotiations with private parties.
The Centre is attached to the Legal Unit of the Secretariat and is chaired by Mr Dirk Buschle, the Head of the Legal Unit and Deputy Director of the Secretariat. The Secretariat, which has already facilitated negotiations in several high-profile investor-state disputes, will be supported by a group of distinguished individuals with experience in the areas covered by the Centre.
The services provided by the Secretariat's Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Centre are free of charge.