Article 34(7) of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) sets out the requirement for a regular Review of the Energy Charter process:
"in 1999 and thereafter at intervals (of not more than five years) to be determined by the Charter Conference, the Charter Conference shall thoroughly review the functions provided for in this Treaty in the light of the extent to which the provisions of the Treaty and Protocols have been implemented. At the conclusion of each review the Charter Conference may amend or abolish the functions (of the Charter Conference itself) and may discharge the Secretariat."
Following the initial Review of 1999 and the first comprehensive Review of the Energy Charter process conducted in 2004, the Conference confirmed at its meeting in Athens on 28 November 2008 that the third Review of the Energy Charter process under Article 34(7) would be conducted in 2009.
At the Athens meeting, the Conference adopted the Terms of Reference for the Review according to which the Review shall consider, inter alia:
Also at the meeting in Athens, the Energy Charter Conference unanimously confirmed the appointment of Prof. Sergio Garribba of Italy as Special Representative to coordinate and lead the 2009 Review. The Special Representative will seek to learn the views of the Contracting Parties and other Signatories to the Energy Charter Treaty as well as other interested parties through a questionnaire, consultations with experts in the international energy field, and through participation in the subsidiary bodies of the Energy Charter process.
The Energy Charter Secretariat will fully support and assist the carrying out of the Review. Notably, it will support the Special Representative for the Review, the Chairman of the Conference, and subsidiary bodies of the Conference in their work related to the Review.
The Special Representative will report on his work to the 20th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference at the end of 2009, where the conclusions on the Review under Article 34(7) ECT shall be considered with a view to their adoption.
27 March 2009 - presentation on the Review process by the Special Representative at the meeting of the Ad Hoc Group on Strategy
2 April 2009 - presentation on the Review process by the Special Representative to the members of the Industry Advisory Panel
27 April 2009 - submission of completed Review questionnaire by the member states
End of May 2009 - analysis of replies to the Review questionnaire
Special Representative to consult all Energy Charter bodies (ongoing)
Special Representative to consult specific member states, international organisations, outside experts (ongoing)
16 June 2009 - member states to discuss the Review process and draft report based upon the responses to the Questionnaire
Autumn 2009 - presentation of the draft report and draft conclusions to member states
End 2009 - presentation of the final report and conclusions of the 2009 Review under Article 34(7) of the Energy Charter Treaty at the 20th Meeting of the Energy Charter Conference
Given that the Treaty entered into force only in April 1998, the Review that was held in 1999 was not in a position to make a detailed examination of the Treaty's functioning. The 2004 Review therefore presented the first opportunity for a comprehensive assessment of the Charter process under Article 34(7). The Review was chaired by Dr Pieter Boot, Deputy Director General for Energy in the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
In consultation with member and observer states and with energy specialists from industry and academia, Dr Boot developed a report on the Charter process. This report provided the foundation for the formal conclusions of the Review, which were considered and adopted by the member states at the meeting of the Energy Charter Conference in December 2004.
The main outcome of the Review was that all participants confirmed their commitment to the Energy Charter process, and recognised the continuing value of a broad cooperative framework for promoting energy investments, facilitating cross-border flows of energy and improving energy efficiency across Eurasia.
The Review looked at ways in which the process should evolve in order to respond to changes in energy markets, such as the liberalisation of European energy markets, and also in view of broader developments such as the accession of member countries to the WTO and the enlargement of the European Union. The key objective of the Review was therefore to ensure the efficiency of the Charter process by concentrating its activities in areas where the Charter's legal basis and broad constituency provide it with clear advantages.