Industrial policy and competition policy: Quo vadis Europa? (New Frontiers of Antitrust Conference - Paris, February 10th 2012)

The EU’s best route to recovery from the crisis is to tap the huge potential of the internal market. To do this, modern industrial policy and robust competition enforcement must work together to put Europe back on track and kick start sustainable growth. Through direct effective enforcement the EU’s competition policy plays a key part by keeping markets open, fostering competitiveness and innovation, and preparing Europe’s companies to compete and succeed globally.

1. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a pleasure to return to your annual conference. In my first two appearances, I shared with you my vision for competition policy. Today, I will talk about industrial policy and the importance of competition for its success. 2. I chose this topic because the debate on industrial policy is making a comeback. Over the past four years, the crisis has unveiled serious setbacks for economies in advanced countries and de-industrialisation processes, and the calls for industrial-policy intervention have multiplied in some quarters. 3. This is not surprising: globalisation and low-growth foster world-wide competition, in particular from emerging countries where the State often plays an active economic role. 4. In many cases, this leads to industrial restructuring

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