CONFERENCE - BELGIAN COMPETITION DAY - ENFORCEMENT OF COMPETITION RULES

Belgian Competition Day - Opening and closing Statements (Brussels, October 21th 2010)

This article reproduces the opening statement delivered at the Belgian Competition Day held in Brussels on October 21, 2010. Prof. Steenbergen emphasises that the Belgian competition authority aims at contributing to a competition culture, and that it tries to do so not only by establishing infringements and imposing sanctions, but also by giving motivated decisions. Vincent Van Quickerborne, the Minister for the Economy wellcomes the efforts to improve the enforcement of competition rules and acknowledges that attention to the victims of anti-competitive behavior is a key part of continued improvement of the regulatory framework. He welcomes the EU Commission’s efforts in respect of private enforcement and refers to the joint statement by Commissioners Almunia, Reding and Dalli calling for a coherent European framework to strengthen collective redress.

Welcome Jacques STEENBERGEN Director general of the Belgian Competition Authority The competition world does not look all that different when you look at it from Belgium. Compared to the Commissioners' priorities there is just one we do not seem to share thanks to our dual structure (and the temptation to say so is just too big): due process. This structure also meant that for some 15 years we had a system we could not afford at the expense of efficiency. Now, thanks to a reduced demand of merger control on our (still modest) resources, and the combined efforts of the Council (tribunal), the Auditorat (College of Prosecutors) and the directorate general, we take on average some four infringement decisions a year + some motivated non-infringement decisions. If the Commission does

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Jacques Steenbergen, Vincent Van Quickenborne, Alexander Italianer, Belgian Competition Day - Opening and closing Statements (Brussels, October 21th 2010), February 2011, Concurrences N° 1-2011, Art. N° 34223, www.concurrences.com

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