Groningen Journal of International Law

International Law Under Construction

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Vattenfall Dispute Settled: Questions Remain Unanswered

Yash Shiralkar

What’s going on?

The Vattenfall v. Germany saga, which dealt with the phase-out of nuclear power plants by Germany in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, may have finally come to an end. After several domestic court judgments, objections on the validity of intra-EU BIT claims post-Achmea and multiple instances of arbitrator challenges, it seemed as if the ICSID proceedings were finally underway. However, in a press media report dated 5 March 2021, the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety announced that they had settled with Vattenfall. The Germany Ministry clarified that the phase-out would be completed by the end of 2022 and that it would pay €2.428 billion compensation (€1.425 billion of which would go to Vattenfall). Vattenfall, in its own press release dated 5 March 2021, reiterated the terms of the settlement and revealed that it would lead to the discontinuation of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) proceedings.

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