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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

Cover of Goode on Commercial Law

Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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A Fair Referee?

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ISBN13: 9781901229585
ISBN: 1901229580
Published: October 2004
Publisher: Centre for European Reform
Format: Paperback
Price: £10.00

The EU's policies for enforcing competition in the single market and restricting state subsidies are among its biggest success stories. But the way the European Commission 'referees' state aid and competition cases is coming under increasing attack. Some EU governments, most notably France and Germany, argue the Commission is over zealous, in its approach - holding back the creation of European 'champions'. Meanwhile, many in the US accuse the Commission of being too interventionist and anti-American. This new CER pamphlet advises the Commission to stand firm against those who seek to water down the EU's state aid and competition policies. The promotion of national champions does not save jobs and it inflicts considerable costs on other businesses. Instead, the Commission should focus on modernising EU competition policies. It should make its decision-making more transparent to show that there is no political interference in the process. For example, the competition commissioner should set out in an open letter his or her decision on a merger or anti-trust case. This letter should then be made public after the full Commission has taken a final decision.;The Commission should also pay much greater attention to the needs of consumers rather than competitors. It should create a new consumers affairs directorate-general which could act as powerful advocate for Europe's consumers in all commission policies. Above all, the Commission should ensure that its competition policies support the EU's economic reform agenda. It should aim to raise the overall level of competition within the EU's single market, rather than simply policing mergers and anti-trust cases. Thus it should place much more emphasis on scrutinising the barriers to competition posed by regulation and help to ensure a level playing field across Europe.

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