201716.02
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Appointed as Mediator for the Energy Community

I am pleased to have been appointed as Mediator for the Energy Community.

The Energy Community’s mission is to extend the EU internal energy market to South East Europe and beyond on the basis of a legally binding framework. The principal instrument to achieve this aim is the adoption of the EU’s legislation, the so-called “acquis communautaire”, in energy and related areas. To date, some 25 laws have been incorporated into the Energy Community’s legal framework, covering gas, electricity, security of supply, renewables, oil, energy efficiency, environment, competition and statistics. The Energy Community may also take measures to create a single energy market.

As regards the enforcement of the Energy Community’s legal framework, the 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.

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.

SUBMITTING A DISPUTE FOR FACILITATED NEGOTIATIONS

Any interested party is invited to submit a request to have negotiations of a dispute facilitated by the Centre. The request shall be made in writing and shall contain:

  • the name and address of the disputing parties,
  • a summary of a dispute (including any claims for damages),
  • a presentation of any related pending proceedings, and
  • any documents deemed necessary for the purposes of the negotiations.

Upon registration of the request, a draft memorandum of understanding together with a draft procedural timetable will be sent to all disputing parties. The draft memorandum of understanding shall contain information as to the place of the negotiations, confidentiality, effect of pending disputes and the name and role of the facilitator. The disputing parties will be free to agree upon amendments of the draft memorandum of understanding.

Ideally, the negotiations will be completed over three months.

The services provided by the Dispute Resolution and Negotiation Centre are free of charge.