European Competition Network
The European Commission and the national competition authorities in all EU Member States cooperate with each other through the European Competition Network (ECN).
This creates an effective mechanism to counter companies which engage in cross-border practices restricting competition. As European competition rules are applied by
all members of the ECN, the ECN provides means to ensure their effective and consistent application. Through the ECN, the competition authorities
inform each other of proposed decisions and take on board comments from the other competition authorities. In this way, the ECN allows the competition
authorities to pool their experience and identify best practices. Read more >
The Members of the ECN have also engaged in cooperation and exchange of best practices in the area of merger control by setting up an EU Merger Working Group. Read more >
12 May 2016
Commission publishes replies to the public consultation on "Empowering the national competition authorities to be more effective enforcers of the EU competition rules".
The replies are available
19 April 2016
Public Hearing: "Empowering the national competition authorities to be more effective enforcers of the EU competition rules" on 19 April 2016
On 19 April 2016, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) of the European Parliament and DG Competition of the European Commission co-organised a Public Hearing on empowering national competition authorities to be more effective enforcers.
At the hearing, Commissioner Vestager presented the results of the Public Consultation.
It was followed by two panel discussions on the four topics covered by the public consultation.
The first panel addressed the enforcement powers and independence of NCAs while the second panel discussed sanctions and leniency in the Member States.
Around 150 stakeholders participated together with members of the ECON Committee.
View the entire Public Hearing.
Download the agenda and the presentations of the panellists.
4 November 2015
Commission consults on how to empower the national competition authorities to be more effective enforcers
The European Commission is inviting comments on how best to empower Member States' national competition authorities (NCAs) to be more effective enforcers of EU antitrust rules.
Council Regulation 1/2003 empowered the NCA's to apply all aspects of the EU competition rules, in addition to the European Commission.
The 2014 Commission's Communication on Ten Years of Council Regulation 1/2003 (COM (2014) 453) found that while NCAs play a key role in the enforcement of EU antitrust rules alongside the Commission, there is potential for them to do more. Regulation 1/2003 did not tackle the means and instruments by which the NCAs apply the EU antitrust rules. As a result, NCAs encounter difficulties in carrying out their work and in tapping their full potential.
On 4 November, the Commission followed-up on these findings by launching a public consultation on how to empower the NCAs to be more effective enforcers.
The aim of the public consultation is to get feedback from a broad range of stakeholders on potential legislative guarantees that NCAs: (1) act independently when enforcing EU competition law, and have the resources and staff needed to do their work; (2) have adequate tools to detect and sanction violations of the competition rules; and that (3) their leniency programmes, which encourage companies to come forward with evidence of illegal cartels, can work more effectively across Europe.
The Commission invites all stakeholders to respond to the questionnaire and to share their views. Responses to the public consultation may be submitted until 12 February 2016.
The public consultation is available here.
The press release is available here.