INTERVIEW: ACT OF MODERNIZATION OF THE ECONOMY - RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COURTS - PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS - NATIONAL COMPETITION AUTHORITY - RELATION DISTRIBUTORS-SUPPLIERS - TARIFF DISCRIMINATION - ABUSE OF DEPENDENCE

Catherine Vautrin (CEPC): A President for the Commission d’Examen des Pratiques Commerciales

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1. Can you briefly describe your background (education, professional experience, political commitment)?

2. You were the rapporteur of the law n° 2003-721 of 1 August 2003 for the economic initiative. How do you view its choices and implementation today?

3. The Commission d’examen des pratiques commerciales (CEPC), created by the NRE law of 15 May 2001, saw its role recognised and reinforced by the law of 4 August 2008 on the modernisation of the economy (LME). In particular, the legislator provided that it could be consulted by the courts on the practices defined in Article L. 442-6 of the Commercial Code. How do you see this role of the Commission, which has become a regulator of commercial relations?

4. How can the CEPC’s missions be articulated with those of professional organisations, courts, the Competition Authority, the DGCCRF? In your opinion, what can be its role in relation to parliamentary assemblies?

5. Ms Lagarde, Minister of Finance, approved (Interview Concurrences, n° 4-2008, pp. 5-8) the practice of Questions-Answers implemented by Jean-Paul Charié, rapporteur of the LME at the time President of the Commission, by which the CEPC decides, after debate in plenary session, on the conditions of application or on the interpretation of the LME - the (anonymized) questions of the distributors or suppliers and the answers of the Commission being then put on line on the site of the DGCCRF. Do you think that this practice, through the debates it allows between the professionals concerned, can resolve the problems - and sometimes the conflicts - encountered?

6. More than a hundred Q&A have been published to date on the DGCCRF website. How can this asset be better exploited?

7. What do you think of the new balance sought by the legislator in the EML: removal of the prohibition of tariff discrimination and the notion of abuse of a relationship of dependence, replaced by a principle of tariff freedom tempered by the notion, new in trade relations, of a significant imbalance between the rights and obligations of the parties?

8. On the other hand, payment periods have been the subject of very restrictive measures in the LME. What is the outcome?

9. Does the EML seem to you to be "the last step" in the reform of the legal framework for commercial relations, as announced in its explanatory memorandum?

Interview conducted by Jacqueline Riffault-SilkCour de cassation, Paris.

CATHERINE VAUTRIN: A CHAIRPERSON FOR THE TRADE PRACTICES REVIEW PANEL January 2009 President of the CEPC Since 1 October 2008 Vice-President of the National Assembly and President of the Delegation for Communication and the Press June 2005 Minister Delegate for Social Cohesion and Parity October 2004 State Secretary for the Elderly March 2004 State Secretary for Integration and Equal Opportunities June 2002 Deputy UMP of the 2nd district of the Marne Can you briefly describe your background (education, professional experience, political commitment)? After obtaining a Master's degree in Business Law, I joined the American insurance company CIGNA in 1986 as a product manager. For 13 years, I was Marketing and Communication Director in France and then for Continental

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