ARTICLES: DIRECTIVE - NCA - ENFORCEMENT - ECN

The European Commission’s “ECN+” Proposal for a Directive to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers

This paper [1] contains my contribution to the panel “Competition authorities: Towards more independence and prioritisation?” at the 8th International Concurrences Review Conference “New Frontiers of Antitrust” (Paris, 26 June 2017). It focuses in particular on the European Commission’s “ECN+” Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (COM(2017)142 of 22 March 2017). The paper sets out the provisions concerning independence, prioritisation and resources contained in Chapter III (Articles 4 and 5) of the proposed Directive, lists their antecedents, and provides an analysis of the questions of independence, resources and prioritisation in the specific case of the enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU by the national competition authorities (“NCAs”). Readers who are already familiar with the ECN+ Proposal may want to go directly to the analysis part.

I. The provisions on independence, prioritisation and resources in the proposed Directive 1. On 22 March 2017, the European Commission (hereafter also: “the Commission”) adopted a proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market, often referred to as the “ECN+” proposal (hereafter: “the ECN+ Proposal,” “the Proposal” or “the proposed Directive”). [2] 2. According to its Article 1(1), the proposed Directive “sets out certain rules to ensure that national competition authorities have the necessary guarantees of independence and resources and enforcement and fining powers to be able to effectively apply Articles 101 and 102

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  • European Commission

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Wouter Wils, The European Commission’s “ECN+” Proposal for a Directive to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers, November 2017, Concurrences Review N° 4-2017, Art. N° 84881, pp. 60-80

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