Frédéric Jenny (Chairman of the OECD Competition Committee, Professor of Economics at ESSEC and President of the Concurrences International Committee) introduced the four topical issues to be dealt with by the different panels.
Competition policy fosters not only economic efficiency but also justice, progress and equality: it has political effects as well as economic ones. This idea has been somewhat forgotten, but it was at the root of the Le Chapelier revolutionary bill, which banned all forms of guilds from preventing talented individuals questioning institutionalized monopolies. We have to get back to this idea to make people both more free and more equal. The French paradox is that we have a passion for equality, but an aversion to competition. There is still a strong feeling in France that with competition, might makes right. This is why as a society we still protect established individual situations: jobs rather than people. The statutory character of our economy remains strong.