Sunset Clauses in International Law and their Consequences for EU Law

Study 04-01-2022

Sunset clauses in International Treaties account for numerous benefits. However, their entrenchment effect disproportionally burdens future policymakers. This is the case of the Energy Charter Treaty, which poses unique challenges for two main reasons. First, compared to other treaties, the ECT contains a 20-year sunset clause. Second, the treaty is a multilateral with a rigid amendment procedure, which empowers the entrenchment effect of that treaty. Within this context, the study explores the policy options to disengage from the ECT and the entrenchment effect of its sunset clauses.