Activities of the DRN Centre

This page provides an overview of the Energy Community Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Centre's activities. It also highlights a number of reference energy disputes cases.

  • Ongoing disputes

    Ongoing disputes

    Dispute 02/2018: Ukraine
    Parties involved JSC Uktransgaz and the Ukrainian National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission
    Areas of work Gas
    Short description

    JSC Uktransgaz (the Ukrainian gas TSO) asked, and the Ukrainian National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission agreed, for the Energy Community Dispute Resolution Centre to facilitate their negotiations over implementation of the amendments to the Ukrainian Gas Transmission Code which are supposed to enter into the force by 1 August 2018

    Updates
    • 5 September 2018: The third meeting in the mediation process between Ukrtransgaz and NEURC on the development of the Gas Transmission Code took place on 5 September 2018.  Significant progress has been achieved, and at the end, the parties expressed their satisfaction with the mediation process. Only a few open issues remained, and they will be discussed on 26 September 2018.
    • 25.07.2018: The second meeting in the mediation process between Ukrtransgaz and NEURC on the development of the Gas Transmission Code took place at the Energy Community Secretariat premises in Kyiv on 25 July 2018.  The next meeting, foreseen to be a concluding one, will be organised in the beginning of September.
    • 11.07.2018: The first meeting in the mediation process between Ukrtransgaz and NEURC on the development of the Gas Transmission Code took place at the Energy Community Secretariat premises in Kyiv on 11 July 2018.  The next meeting will be organised in the next two weeks.

     

    Dispute 06/2017: Albania
    Parties involved Albania
    Areas of work Electricity
    Short description

    The Energy Community Secretariat is involved in negotiation process between two market participants in Albania aiming at finding a feasible and long-lasting solution to a dispute brought to Secretariat’s attention earlier this year.

     

  • Reference disputes

    Reference disputes

    September 2018

    Keynote speech at the Energy Community Dispute Resolution Forum 

    During the First Dispute Resolution Forum, Nikos Lavranos delivered a keynote speech on the impact of the Achmea decision.

    Key note speech by Prof. Dr. Nikos Lavranos

     

    March 2018

    Ten years after the launch of the Achmea arbitration, the Court of Justice of the EU finally renders its ruling on the compatibility of bilateral investment treaty arbitration (BIT) and the legal order of the EU

    The decision comes as a result of a request for a preliminary ruling from the German Federal Supreme Court (the BGH). The BGH inquired whether Article 344 TFEU precludes application of provisions in BITs which allow investors from European Member States to bring other Member States before arbitration tribunals, if the BIT had been signed before the accession of one of the Member States to the European Union, and arbitration proceedings were instituted only after both countries were part of the European Union; if the answer to the previous question is negative, whether Article 267 TFEU precludes the existence of such arbitration proceedings; and if the answers to both previous questions are negative, whether Article 18(1) TFEU precludes the existence of such arbitration proceedings.

    The decision did not follow the  opinion of the Advocate General  issued on 19 September 2017, the conclusion of which was that EU law did not preclude the application of an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism established under an intra-EU BIT.

    The Court of Justice first stated that an arbitral tribunal constituted under the BIT must rule on the basis of the law in force of the contracting state involved in the dispute as well as other (international) agreements between the contracting parties, which includes EU law. Next, the Court of Justice, unlike the Advocate General, finds that such an arbitral tribunal does not constitute a court or tribunal of a Member State within the meaning of Article 267 TFEU and, as a result, an arbitral tribunal cannot make a reference to the Court of Justice of the EU for a preliminary ruling. Lastly, the Court of Justice finds that, by concluding the BIT, the EU Member States parties to it established a mechanism for settling disputes between an investor and a Member State which could prevent those disputes from being solved in a manner that ensures the full effectiveness of EU law, even though they might concern the interpretation or application of that law. The Court of Justice concludes that the arbitration clause in the BIT is incompatible with EU law and that it has an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law. The Court of Justice does not look into the issue of discrimination on the basis of nationality.

    It remains to be seen what steps will the BGH take now and whether or not it will annul the Achmea award.

    Decision of the Court of Justice

    Buschle / Miron article on opinion of the Advocate General

     

    May 2017

    International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes: Eiser versus Spain
    On 4 May 2017, an ICSID tribunal chaired by John R. Crook (with co-arbitrators Stanimir Alexandrov and Campbell Alan Mc Lachlan) issued an award against Spain for rolling back certain incentives encouraging investment in the solar power sector. The tribunal found that the changes introduced to an existent feed-in tariff system in Spain amounted to the creation of a new system, very different from the one in reliance of which the solar power investors made the decision to invest. As such, the legislative changes undertaken by Spain constituted a breach of the fair and equitable treatment standard under the Energy Charter Treaty. The tribunal awarded damages and interest in the amount of EUR 128 million.
    Download case summary
  • News from the DRN Centre

    News from the Dispute Resolution Centre

    December 2017

    Compatibility of intra-EU BITs - Buschle / Miron article in the Croatian Arbitration Yearbook


    The compatibility of intra-EU BITs with European law has been debated at large by academia, international arbitral tribunals and national courts. Dirk Buschle and Smaranda Miron analyse the opinion of the Advocate General in the case Slovak Republic v Achmea BV, in which it was found that found that an intra-EU BIT does not constitute discrimination on the basis of nationality and does not undermine the allocation of powers provided for under the EU Treaties and the autonomy of the EU legal system. 

    Their article was published in December 2017 in the Croatian Arbitration Yearbook. 

    Download the article

    February 2017

    World Abritration Café discusses Investor-State Disputes and ADR


    On 25 February 2017, the Chair of the Dispute Resolution Centre of the Energy Community, Dr Dirk Buschle, attended the World Abritration Café, an event organised under the auspices of the Vienna Arbitration Days 2017.  Dr Buschle moderated discussions in the topic “Investor-State Disputes and ADR”. The debate was focused on the advantages of mediation over arbitration, especially in relation to energy disputes.

    A report of the discussions can be found below.

    Download the discussion report