LEGAL PRACTICES: EUROPEAN UNION - INSPECTION POWERS - SUFFICIENTLY SERIOUS EVIDENCE - FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

Necessary limits to the Commission’s inspection powers Or principles and safeguards to frame the Commission’s inspection powers and in particular to avoid recourse to "purely exploratory inspections"

As Commission inspections area “clear interference” with the fundamental right to the inviolability of the home, they are only admissible if all guarantees are put in place to avoid arbitrary interventions. In particular, the Commission must provide evidence of “sufficiently serious indicia” to justify its inspection decisions. As regards the evidence of oral statements, these must meet strict formal requirements (of recording and approval), allowing the judge to assess the exact content of these statements and thus exercise effective control over interference with the fundamental rights of individuals. Simple “reports” of interviews with third parties drawn up unilaterally and ex post facto by Commission civil servants should, for instance, not constitute “indicia” justifying an inspection.

*This article is an automatic translation of the original article, provided here for your convenience. Read the original article. "We are slaves to the laws in order to be free." Ciceron Introduction 1. Faced with an increasingly intrusive world, how to ensure a balance between individual freedoms and the legitimate needs of the Authority? And how, in particular, can we avoid excessive interference with the personal data and fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, while allowing the authority in question - in particular the European Commission (the "Commission") in competition proceedings - to nevertheless perform its functions effectively? 2. In this respect, it is not a question of giving the Authority an unlimited "carte blanche". On the contrary, we must impose

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  • Free University of Brussels (ULB)

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Denis Waelbroeck, Necessary limits to the Commission’s inspection powers, November 2021, Concurrences N° 4-2021, Art. N° 103260, www.concurrences.com

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