Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Impact of Regulation 1/2003 in the New Member States

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Kati Cseres, University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics discusses The Impact of Regulation 1/2003 in the New Member States.

ABSTRACT: Regulation 1/2003 entered into force on 1 May 2004 introducing a fundamental change in the enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU. 1 May 2004 also marked a fundamental change in the history of the EU: ten new Member States joined the European Union. The modernization of EC competition law enforcement has in fact taken place against the background of enlargement. Enlargement and the modernization of law enforcement had been closely connected to one and other not only in the field of competition law. This paper discusses the impact of Regulation 1/2003 in the ten new Member States situated in Central and Eastern Europe that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007. What makes these Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) special is transition from command and control economy and totalitarian rule to market economy and to compliance with the rule of law. What makes implementation of EU rules in CEECs’ legislation special is the conditionality and the fact that Europeanization of these countries’ laws have been interacting with market, constitutional and institutional reforms. The paper discusses both the direct and indirect impact of Regulation 1/2003 in the legislation, enforcement models and institutional designs in these countries. The experience of the CEECs indicate that EU leverage has been the most noticeable and direct on the statutory enactments of substantive competition law, however, it has in an indirect way also influenced enforcement methods and institutional choices. The exceptional influence of the EU on the CEECs’ competition rules can be demonstrated by the fact that these countries often aligned their national laws even further than they were obliged to. However, in the less visible parts of the law such as procedural rules divergence can be substantial with important consequences for overall enforcement outcomes. Moreover, in the CEECs there is a significant difference between the black letter of the law and its active enforcement.

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