Today’s globalised economy is characterised by cross-border businesses. International transactions have cross-border consequences and an effective competition policy requires cooperation with competition authorities outside the EU. The aim of this event is to clarify the strategy that DG Competition adopts while protecting competition within and across Europe’s borders.
Please see below the following points that were highlighted during the event:
Competition policies are not limited to EU borders, mainly due to globalisation and the proliferation of competition agencies. They face multiple challenges, such as effectiveness and the importance of creating a “level playing field”. In response to these challenges, the EU Commission has increased efforts to achieve convergence between competition regimes and efforts to facilitate cooperation between competition authorities.
There have been several actions at Multilateral and Bilateral level:
Multilateral – Antitrust/Mergers:
There has been an attempt to introduce binding rules in the WTO, however they were unsuccessful. The main objective was to promote convergence of the competition regimes, through interoperability and to reach a level playing field. Key future priorities are inter-agency cooperation and evaluation.
Multilateral – Subsidies:
There are binding rules at WTO-level. However there is a serious issue with equality:
– EU state aid control system
- Wider sectorial scope (coverage of services)
- More effective enforcement
– Transparency problem
The aim is to push for a greater transparency and advocate the strict application of WTO discipline.
Bilateral – Cooperation priorities:
As on of the world’s leading enforcement agencies, DG Competition is an “attractive cooperation partner”
Key priorities are to further deepen dialogue/cooperation with advanced agencies of the main trading partners. Building up dialogue/cooperation with the BRIC countries and prepare EU Candidate Countries.
Bilateral – Advanced jurisdictions:
There is intensive cooperation on the basis of existing “1st” Generation Cooperation Agreements:
– US (1991), Canada (1999), Japan (2003), Korea (2010)
– Policy dialogue + case cooperation
– Limitation: No exchange of confidential information in the absence of waivers.
-2nd Generation agreements (including the international exchange of confidential information)
– Revised best practices on EU-US cooperation in merger investigations
Bilateral – Enlargement
It is important to ensure that candidate countries are accustomed to the disciplines of the competition policy at the moment they join. These conditions tend to be very demanding, such as legislative framework in place, administrative capacity and enforcement records.
Topic: Competition Policy in a globalised economy
Speaker: Miek Van der Wee, Head of Unit, International Relations, DG Competition –
Thursday 8th March 2012