European Competition Day on 31 May 2018
On 31 May 2018 the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) organises the European Competition Day. The event is held within the framework of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU and will take place in Boyana Residence in Sofia.
The event will be dedicated to key legislative developments in the European competition law, such as the Damages Directive and the future ECN+ Directive, which will have a determining influence on the enforcement of competition rules in the forthcoming years. Attention will also be paid to cases that arise before the competition authorities in the energy sector. The European Competition Day will be organised in three sessions dedicated to different topics:
ECN+ Directive: what will the plus bring?
This session will discuss the future Directive to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market, also known as ECN+. The Directive aims to provide the national competition authorities of the Member States with the necessary powers to detect competition law infringements, to sanction companies in breach of legislation, to act independently when applying European competition rules and to have the necessary resources to carry out their tasks. The discussion on the proposal for the Directive in the EU Council’s Working Group on Competition took place during the Bulgarian Presidency, which allowed the CPC to actively participate in this process.
Competition in energy markets: the way to ensure affordable and secure supplies for all consumers
The second session will focus on a sector that affects everyone – energy. Over the last decades, this sector has been characterised by a gradual transition from a monopoly to the opening up of these markets to competition. At the same time, due to the existence of an infrastructure that cannot be duplicated, a risk of abuse of a dominant position arises. The session will discuss the role of competition authorities in these markets, the most frequent types of competition infringements in the sector and how competition can ensure the better functioning of these markets so as to bring benefits to all consumers.
Fixing the damages – expected effects of the application of the Damages Directive
This session will discuss the effects of the application of the Directive 2014/104 EU on actions for damages in the field of competition, which was recently transposed in the Member States and which removes the practical obstacles to compensation for all victims of infringements of competition. The Directive is expected to boost private enforcement in the area of competition. This, in turn, would have an overall impact on the application of competition rules.
Representatives of the European Commission, of the national competition authorities of the EU Member States and of authorities from countries which have long-standing relations of cooperation with the CPC are expected to attend the European Competition Day. International organisations such as the OECD, UNCTAD and the EBRD will also send participants, as will state authorities, the judiciary, law firms and the academia. Over 130 participants are expected in total, of which 54 from abroad. The special guest at the European Competition Day will be the European Commissioner for Competition, Ms Margrethe Vestager, who will deliver a keynote speech.