The Advisory Committee advises the Energy Community. The Advisory Committee is a body of independent legal experts with an advisory function to the Ministerial Council in the dispute settlement process.
The Ministerial Council established the Advisory Committee (PA 2008/01/MC-EnC) in June 2008. The Dispute Settlement Rules underwent amendments in 2015. In relation to the composition, mandate and procedure, the amendments strengthened the role of the Advisory Committee as the independent and legal expert body in the dispute settlement procedure.
The Opinions of the Advisory Committee are an integral part of the dispute settlement procedure. Before the Ministerial Council may determine the existence of a breach by a Party of its obligations under the Energy Community Treaty, the current Presidency and Vice-Presidency are required to ask the Advisory Committee for its Opinion on the case at hand. Upon invitation by the Presidency, the chairperson may appear at the relevant meeting of the Ministerial Council to explain the Opinion delivered by the Advisory Committee.
Members of the Advisory Committee are appointed by the Ministerial Council based on a proposal of the Secretariat. They are to be chosen from persons whose independence is beyond doubt and who possess the qualifications required for appointment to the highest judicial offices in the respective Party.
Since 2016, the Advisory Committee consists of five members. The Committee elects its chair for a two-year term. The current chairperson of the Advisory Committee is Dr. Wolfgang Urbantschitsch.
To enable compliance with Article 32(3) of the Dispute Settlement Rules, the Secretariat proposed the Ministerial Council to reappoint the current members and alternate members of the Advisory Committee in 2020. The 18th Ministerial Council confirmed the proposal and reappointed the current members and alternate members until 31 December 2024.