Jan 23, 2014
CPI ICN Column edited by Maria Coppola (U.S. Federal Trade Commission)
In December, the Italian Competition Authority hosted the ICN’s second workshop dedicated to advocacy in Rome.1 The title chosen for this workshop – “Advocacy: a driver for change” – underlines that fact that competition advocacy is now seen as a core part of a competition agency’s work, alongside enforcement. By changing the competitive environment and by promoting pro-competitive reforms, competition agencies can play an important role in meeting the challenges of the current economic climate and in fostering growth.
Participation in the workshop reinforced this preeminent role for advocacy. There were more than 120 participants, representing 57 jurisdictions. The event was introduced by former Italian Prime Minister Mr. Mario Monti and Mr. Bruno Lasserre, ICN vice chair.
Why is advocacy important? Mr. Lasserre highlighted many reasons, including that advocacy increases the expertise of a competition agency (for instance through market studies) and consequently its credibility; advocacy encourages market self-corrections and signals to sectors where competition appears not to functioning that the competition agency is taking notice. He warned that advocacy is not a way for the competition agency to gain po