The agreement that will strengthen co-operation between the two competition authorities, the European Commission and the Swiss Competition Commission. This is the fifth such agreement signed by the EU after agreements concluded with the United States, Canada, Japan and Korea. An innovative feature of the agreement with Switzerland is that it will enable the two competition agencies to exchange information they have obtained in their investigations. The signature took place subject to ratification: the agreement will enter into force once it has been approved by the European Parliament and the Swiss Parliament.
Fair and keen competition in food and consumer-goods markets is vital if we are serious about leading Europe out of the current downturn. These markets are also part of the daily lives of the vast majority of ordinary Europeans and we will continue to watch them closely. At bottom, competition control is about consumer welfare. Keeping food and consumer-goods markets free from illegal and harmful anti-competitive practices is a litmus test for us. We will show to the people that competition control can bring real benefits when they most need them and bring benefits that they can touch first-hand.