The Report on Competition policy, which is published annually, provides detailed information on the most important policy and legislative initiatives and on decisions adopted by the European Commission in the application of EU competition law during the previous year. Following a robust exchange of views with European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on the draft opinion, the proposals address the enormous body of work undertaken by the European Commission in 2016 and highlights major issues of relevance to for local and regional legislators from across Europe.
The opinion focuses on a number of key points,
– Emphasises the benefits of competition policy via widening of choice for citizens and encouraging innovation, enterprise and efficiency;
– Argues for the importance of local and regional authorities as providers of Services of General Economic Interest (SGEIs) and the need to ensure sustainable public services for EU citizens. As such welcomes the Commission’s efforts to simplify the application of State Aid rules in relation to SGEIs, while also recommending further actions that could be taken;
– Raises concerns about on-going barriers to cross border trade in the Digital Single Market, for example geo blocking and potential competitors being artificially excluded from opportunities by dominant players;
– Welcomes the Commission’s efforts to improve the effectives of National Competition Authorities;
– Urges the Agriculture and Competition Commissioners to work more closely in supporting efforts towards market diversification for the agri-food sector, particularly for those Member States most affected by Brexit.
- 1st discussion and adoption in COTER on 19 September 2017
- Final adoption in Plenary session of 1 December 2017