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The Role of the Energy Charter Treaty in Fostering Regional Electricity Market Integration: Lessons Learnt from the EU and Implications for Northeast Asia

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This study has been prepared by the Energy Charter Secretariat to evaluate the role of the Energy Charter Treaty in fostering regional electricity market integration, to draw lessons learnt from the liberalisation of the EU energy market and assess relevant implications for Northeast Asia. The study was funded by Korea Energy Economics Institute.

This study shows that the Energy Charter Treaty and the International Energy Charter are suitable legal and political foundations for energy cooperation in Northeast Asia. Active participation of new partner countries, the Republic of Korea and China in the Energy Charter Process allows to share the lessons learnt in the realisation of the EU internal electricity market and its pragmatic solutions. The study confirms that the broad concept of national sovereignty under the Energy Charter Treaty and the International Energy Charter makes it possible that Northeast Asian countries benefit from pragmatic solutions experienced in other regions such as the EU and may start collaborating on cross-border issues while keeping full autonomy on the national energy strategies, targets and regulation.

The results of the performed study lead to the conclusions that the International Energy Charter and Energy Charter Treaty are valuable confidence-building intergovernmental frameworks to start sharing principles and rules on cross-border trade and investments. They will also put the region on track to realise the vision of the Gobitec and the Asian Super Grid in the region of Northeast Asia, which will deliver energy security, economic growth and environmental protection.