INTERNATIONAL: LITHUANIA - EUROPEAN COMPETITION LAW - ECN+ DIRECTIVE - TRANSPOSITION

Lithuania: Transposition of the ECN+ Directive in comparative perspective

Transposition of Directive (EU) 2019/1 of 11 December 2018 to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers (simply called “ECN+ Directive”) will have the most significant impact on uniform application of the EU antitrust rules since Regulation (EC) No. 1/2003 was adopted. It shall be implemented in the Member States by 4 February 2021. Comparative analysis of the modalities of national implementation of the Directive may give many answers how to ensure that a different outcome in different Member States is not reached. Does the ECN+ Directive require only minimal harmonisation and thus give broad discretion to national competition authorities (the NCAs) how to apply harmonised rules concerning the priorities of investigation, inspections, interim measures, joint liability, imposition and payment of joint fines, etc.? Lithuanian legislation which was amended for the purposes of transposition of the ECN+ Directive already in June 2020 contains a comprehensive set of rules aimed at ensuring that Lithuanian national competition authority has the guarantees of independence, resources, enforcement and fining powers. To some extent, the amendments give broader discretion to the national authority than is required by the Directive.

I. The tasks of the ECN+ Directive 1. Directive (EU) 2019/1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market (simply called “ECN+ Directive”) will be the most important instrument of the EU and national competition law since Regulation (EC) No. 1/2003. It shall be implemented in the Member States by bringing into force the necessary laws, regulations and administrative provisions by 4 February 2021. The Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) adopted implementing amendments of Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania on 26 June 2020. 2. Already from the date of the EU enlargement in 2004, Regulation (EC) No. 1/2003

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Vilenas Vadapalas, Lithuania: Transposition of the ECN+ Directive in comparative perspective, February 2021, Concurrences N° 1-2021, Art. N° 98789, www.concurrences.com

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