Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Accession to the EU's Competition Law Regime: A Law and Governance Approach

Kati Cseres, University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance and Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics has written on Accession to the EU's Competition Law Regime: A Law and Governance Approach.

ABSTRACT: Competition law has always formed a core pillar of the European integration process and so it was among the crucial EU requirements set for the candidate countries. Competition law had a significant influence on the way competition laws and institutions were shaped in the candidate countries. In the pre-accession phase this was due to conditionality, however once conditionality terminates and candidate countries become Member States they fall under the EU law and its governance mechanisms, in competition law under Regulation 1/2003. While pre-accession rule transposition is well documented and closely monitored by the EU in its Regular Reports on the candidate countries, the EU’s internal governance mechanisms are less visible and have not been examined in the light of its external model that developed in the course of its eastward enlargement. In EU competition law such internal mechanisms have developed within the framework of Regulation 1/2003. These post-accession compliance mechanisms are critical both with regard to the effectiveness of the EU’s external governance and the internal system of Regulation 1/2003.

The aim of this paper is to analyse the interplay between the EU’s external (pre-accession) and internal (post-accession) governance model in the field of competition law and to arrive at a deeper understanding of the EU’s Europeanization strategy at the intersection of the external and internal governance models. Accordingly, the paper maps the EU’s external law and governance model that applies vis-à-vis third countries that wish to join the EU and examines to what extent and how this external model has shaped the EU’s internal governance model vis-à-vis its Member States. It analyses the role of Regulation 1/2003 in creating an effective implementation of EU competition law in the Member States and its governance mechanisms that framed the Europeanization process. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of post-accession compliance in the Member States the paper examines the compound procedural framework composed of EU and national administrative rules that underlies and challenges the enforcement of EU competition law and investigates how administrative capacity of the national competition authorities may effect competition law enforcement. This inquiry includes the detailed assessment of the European Competition Network as the EU’s main mechanism to monitor compliance of Member States with EU law in the post-accession phase.

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