Published 6 September 2019
In the EU-Energy Package dispute, Russia challenged some of the internal energy market liberalization measures of the European Union as inconsistent with WTO rules on several grounds. The findings of the dispute settlement Panel are instructive for clarifying how certain WTO rules of general applicability are applied to energy goods and services. In this article, two particular findings of broader systemic relevance are reviewed.
For one, the Panel made important findings in relation to the nature of pipelines as indispensable for the transportation of natural gas. The findings of the Panel showed that restrictions on exit capacities of pipelines can be considered quantitative restrictions. Moreover, domestic policies to incentivize diversification of energy supplies may run afoul with the principles of non-discrimination where these de facto disincentives imports for certain WTO Members.