Nine Modest Suggestions for the New EU Commissioner for Competition
Paul Lugard, Feb 23, 2010
This contribution includes some modest suggestions for areas where the new Commissioner and his staff may direct their attention. However, it can be expected that, at least initially, DG COMP's activities will for a large part be characterized by a continuation of the present policy. This is certainly likely to apply to the Commission's state aid policy. At his confirmation hearing before the European Parliament, Commissioner Almunia made it clear that he is committed to ensuring that competition policy "supports a successful exit from the crisis, while maintaining a level playing field and safeguarding the internal market." In addition, he stated he would continue to work towards legislation in the area of private damage actions and remain focused on the application of the competition rules in such key areas such as energy, information technology, and transport. Incidentally, in relation to fines, he stressed that the current system has "proved its mettle" and that the Commission "...will continue to use fines as a deterrence. So far so good. ..."