Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Illiberal Populism: Competition Law at Risk?

Maciej Bernatt University of Warsaw, Centre for Antitrust and Regulatory Studies asks Illiberal Populism: Competition Law at Risk?

ABSTRACT: The aim of this working paper is to preliminary identify those processes triggered by the rise of illiberal populism which have a potential to adversely affect the competition law system. It is hypothesized that these processes may be of a three-fold nature: 

1) they may involve limitations on the independence and expertise of the institutions responsible for the application of competition law (competition authorities and courts); 

2) they may translate into a protectionist use of competition law; and 

3) they may affect regional competition law systems. 

To illustrate whether illiberal populism is capable of affecting the competition law system, the paper analyzes the situations in Poland and Hungary. The analyses cover some aspects of the functioning of competition agencies and the judiciary in these countries, as well as changes introduced to both existing laws and the practice of their enforcement. The paper speaks to the broader literature concerning the relationship between democracy and competition law systems.


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