This article discusses the decision of the Panel of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in the EU–Energy Package dispute between the Russian Federation and the European Union (EU) and certain of its Members. This decision is an important milestone in the history of the WTO. First, it presents a good example of how international economic disputes concerning politically sensitive matters, such as energy security, may be resolved in a pragmatic way, by adhering to multilateral trade rules of the WTO. Second, as the first WTO decision to address a Member's regulatory regime for natural gas, it reminds the WTO community that energy trade is not an alien subject for the WTO. In this article, we discuss some of the Panel's findings that may have significance for other similar cases, and examine the implications of these findings for the EU's internal gas market and energy security. The Panel's decision is currently under appeal with a ruling by the WTO Appellate Body not expected before the end of 2019. Hence, the outcome of this dispute remains uncertain.
- 513 Oikeustiede