Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
John Temple Lang describes The strengths and weaknesses of the DG Competition Manual of Procedure.
ABSTRACT: The Competition Directorate General of the European Commission has published a useful descriptive Manual of its procedure in cases of restrictive agreements and abuse of dominance. However, there are several serious omissions. The Manual does not deal with submissions made to other parts of the Commission. It says nothing about the need for impartiality, or the duty to respect the Charter of Fundamental Rights, or the need to expect judicial review of all decisions. It allows officials to hold meetings without keeping minutes. It says too little about interim measures, and does nothing to reduce the two basic flaws in the Commission's procedure: the same officials draft the statement of objections and the decision, and none of the Commissioners who formally take the decision have seen the evidence or read the arguments. There are several examples of failure to deal with difficult questions, which are precisely those on which guidance is needed.