Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Abel Mateus (UCL) offers thoughts on Ensuring a More Level Playing Field in Competition Enforcement throughout the European Union.
ABSTRACT: The European Competition Network was launched in May 2004 in order to ensure a more coherent and effective network of competition authorities to enforce the Treaty and to ensure a more level playing field to enterprises operating throughout the Single Market. After five years of enforcement the network proved to be an important instrument for exchange of information among national competition authorities in the EU and the Commission and ensured a certain level of coherence in the competition decisions. However, omissions and weak enforcement at national level have not been addressed, the integration of the courts in the network has proven quite difficult and large differences in the level of enforcement across countries are far from ensuring an acceptable level playing field. Outside of Regulation 1/2003, problems also remain, e.g., in the harmonization of merger control and in private enforcement. Some proposals for incremental reforms and strengthening the network are made.