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COMPETITION LAW NEWS: EU Commissioner on Competition Policy Objectives

Monday, 08 October 2012 11:54

Addressing a conference held in Nicosia and organised by the Competition Authority in Cyprus on October 2, 2012 to mark ‘Competition Day’, EU Commissioner Joaquín Almunia, Vice President of the European Commission responsible for Competition Policy, made particular emphasis on private enforcement, on competition issues within the food sector as well as the role of national competition authorities.

Joaquin Almunia advocated his believe that “companies and individuals that are victims of antitrust infringements should have the effective right to seek redress before national courts. We need to make sure that the interaction with public enforcement is optimal in the interest of all and this will be one goal of the legislative proposal on antitrust damages that I intend to present to the College in the coming months.

Referring to the Report published by the European Competition Network (ECN) earlier this year in May which inter alia, advocated the important role of National Competition Authorities on enforceability of EU competition law and policy for the benefit of consumers which subsequently led to the creation of a ‘Food Task Force’ within DG Competition to review the different aspects of the food supply chain including at retail level, he commented that progress achieved so far in the food and retail markets has been indeed remarkable.

In reply to the question raised by the EU Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy during his address in Nicosia: “In how many ways can competition policy help Europe overcome the recession, return to growth at a sustainable pace, and advance in its process of integration?”, he emphasised that “Our core responsibility – as authorities responsible for the enforcement of EU competition law – is to keep markets open and fair ... competition control helps Europe’s economy become more competitive. Competition authorities create better conditions for economic growth – and Europe needs them more than ever ... it has become clear that austerity measures are not enough. For our policies to succeed, we need Europe to take a sustainable growth path.

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