2011/2094(INI)

Annual report on EU Competition Policy

Procedure completed

2011/2094(INI) Annual report on EU Competition Policy
RoleCommitteeRapporteurShadows
Lead ECON SCHWAB Andreas (EPP)
Opinion EMPL
Opinion IMCO FOX Ashley (ECR)
Opinion ITRE
Opinion TRAN MARINESCU Marian-Jean (EPP)
Lead committee dossier: ECON/7/05762
Legal Basis RoP 048
Subjects
Links

Activites

  • 2012/02/02 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
  • 2011/12/15 Debate in Parliament
  • 2011/11/29 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
    • A7-0424/2011 summary
  • 2011/11/29 Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
    • A7-0424/2011 summary
  • 2011/11/22 Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/09/30 Deadline Amendments
  • 2011/08/31 Committee draft report
  • 2011/06/10 Non-legislative basic document published
    • COM(2011)0328 summary
  • 2011/06/10 Date
  • 2011/06/09 Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
  • 2011/06/01 EP officialisation

Documents

AmendmentsDossier
153 2011/2094(INI) Annual report on EU Competition Policy
2011/03/10 ECON 77 amendments...
source: PE-472.269
2011/09/21 TRAN 38 amendments...
source: PE-472.207
2011/10/28 IMCO 38 amendments...
source: PE-475.792

History

(these mark the time of scraping, not the official date of the change)

2012-02-09
activities added
  • body
    EP
    date
    2011-06-01
    type
    EP officialisation
  • date
    2011-06-09
    body
    EP
    type
    Committee referral announced in Parliament, 1st reading/single reading
    committees
  • date
    2011-06-10
    docs
    • url
      http://eur-lex.europa.eu/smartapi/cgi/sga_doc?smartapi!celexplus!prod!DocNumber&lg=EN&type_doc=COMfinal&an_doc=2011&nu_doc=0328
      text
      • PURPOSE: to present the Commission's 2010 report on competition policy.

        CONTENT: on the 40th anniversary of the Report on Competition Policy, this edition contains an overview of the major developments of competition policy and enforcement over the past 40 years.

        Evolution and adaptability of EU competition policy : the report notes that the Treaty provisions laying down the Commission's powers and responsibilities in the field of competition policies have remained remarkably stable over the past 40 years, while the economic and political environment have dramatically changed. Competition policy rules have thus undergone a constant process of adaptation in order to contribute to the major objectives of the EU: building the Single Market, making it deliver for consumers and achieving a competitive social market economy. 

        The EU is undergoing a period of rapid and dramatic changes. Some challenges and issues can be foreseen with some degree of certainty - the exit from the crisis, global competition and sustainable development are among the most prominent. But the EU will no doubt face other challenges which cannot be foreseen yet. Nevertheless, it is clear that competition policy throughout its existence has, against the background of a stable Treaty framework, been able to cope with the considerable evolutions in its environment. Given its resilience and adaptability, EU competition policy will continue to be one of the European Union's assets.

        Competition policy as a tool to support competitiveness in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy: as the EU exits from the current crisis in the face of fierce global competition, a major challenge for competition policy in the coming years will be to support as effectively as possible the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, inclusive and sustainable growth. 

        • The Commission considers that competition policy is well placed to make such a contribution as it is a key driver for making markets work better through an efficient allocation of resources and increased productivity and innovation. It therefore underpins the competitiveness of the EU economy, which is more important than ever to maintain economic and financial stability. Competition policy and competition-enhancing reforms must thus form an integral part of the economic governance. 
        • Competition rules also recognise the need to enable Member States to promote the Union's objectives of economic, social and territorial cohesion. The regional aid guidelines facilitate the realisation of the territorial cohesion of the Union by promoting the development of poorer regions. The different State aid rules also allow for training aid and the promotion of the access of disadvantaged and disabled workers to employment. 
        • Another essential area where competition policy has evolved to take into account a long-term challenge to the Union is the protection of the environment and the promotion of sustainable growth. Through both its antitrust enforcement activities in the energy sector which enhances liquidity and security of supply in the internal market and its adoption of environmental State aid guidelines, which facilitate aid to address market failures in this area, the Commission has ensured that competition policy supports the shift towards a more sustainable economy. 

        Use of instruments in 2010: the report gives an overview of how the instruments of competition policy, namely the State aid, antitrust and merger control rules, were further developed and applied.

        • In 2010, la Commission adopted seven cartel decisions imposing fines totalling over EUR 3 billion on 70 undertakings, maintaining its strong enforcement focus on the fight against cartels. 
        • The Commission continued its enforcement activities of Article 102 TFEU (abuse of dominant position), notably in the energy sector, where it took four decisions and in the ICT sector, where it opened several proceedings.
        • In 2010 the number of mergers notified was at low level due to the economic crisis. In total, 274 transactions were notified to the Commission, 16 decisions were submitted to conditions and no prohibition was decided this year.
        • The majority of aid approved in 2010 related to horizontal objectives of European common interest, such as culture and heritage conservation, regional cohesion, environment protection, research, development and innovation and compensations of damages caused by natural disaster, and aid related to the economic and financial crisis. Total  aid excluding crisis-related measures amounted in 2009 to 0.62% of GDP or EUR 73.2 billion, at a slightly higher level than 2008 (0.58% of GDP). On average, 84% of aid to industry and services was directed towards horizontal objectives of common interest.

        The report also includes an update on the use of the temporary rules for State aid adopted as a response to the financial and economic crisis. In view of the fragility of the recovery, the Commission considered premature to let the Temporary Framework expire in its entirety at the end of 2010. A progressive phasing-out was considered the most suitable response to the current market situation. On 1 December 2010, the Commission extended the validity of the rules for crisis-related measures for the financial sector until the end of 2011. The measures that address outstanding market failures, in particular the remaining problems on access to finance for SMEs, were maintained, subject to tighter conditions to reflect the gradual transition into the normal State aid regime.

      title
      COM(2011)0328
      type
      Non-legislative basic document published
      celexid
      CELEX:52011DC0328:EN
    body
    type
    Non-legislative basic document published
  • body
    EP
    date
    2011-06-10
    type
    Date
  • date
    2011-08-31
    docs
    • url
      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=COMPARL&mode=XML&language=EN&reference=PE470.074
      type
      Committee draft report
      title
      PE470.074
    body
    EP
    type
    Committee draft report
  • body
    EP
    date
    2011-09-30
    type
    Deadline Amendments
  • date
    2011-11-22
    body
    EP
    type
    Vote in committee, 1st reading/single reading
    committees
  • date
    2011-11-29
    docs
    • url
      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2011-0424&language=EN
      text
      •  The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Andreas Schwab (EPP, DE) on the Annual Report on EU Competition Policy. It welcomes the Commission Report on Competition Policy 2010, and highlights, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of this report, the numerous benefits that EU competition policy has brought, stating that it is a constructive and stabilising factor in the EU’s financial system and in the real economy in general. Members feel that improved price transparency is essential in stimulating competition in the single market and offering real choice to consumers.

        Control of State aid: the report stresses that the temporary regime applicable to State aid has been positive as an initial reaction to the crisis, but that it cannot be prolonged unduly. It emphasises the need to discontinue temporary measures and exemptions as soon as possible and as soon as the economic situation allows it. It urges the Commission to link the extension of the temporary State aid to the banking sector beyond 2011 with enhanced and more stringent conditions related to the reduction of the balance sheet composition and size. This must include a proper focus on retail lending as well as stronger restrictions on bonuses, distribution of dividends and other operations on an ex post basis;

        The committee calls on the Commission to come forward with the legislative proposal to address in a true European framework the resolution of failing banks, guaranteeing a common rulebook as well as a common set of intervention tools and triggers, and limiting taxpayers’ involvement to a minimum, namely through the creation of harmonised self-financed (on a risk based approach) industry resolution funds.

        Members stress that the on going consolidation in the banking sector has actually increased the market share of several major financial institutions and, therefore, urge the Commission to maintain a close watch on the sector in order to enhance competition in European banking markets, including by imposing restructuring plans that imply the separation of banking activities where retail deposits allow these institutions to fund riskier investment banking activities.

        Members call on the Commission to ensure that the intended simplification of State aid rules for SGEI will not lead to deterioration in the monitoring of overcompensation. They take note of the Commission’s intention to introduce a ‘de minimis’ arrangement in respect of State aid for SGEI, and underline that unambiguous criteria are needed to determine what services would be covered by it. Any proposal to exempt in principle further categories of SGEI from the notification requirement must be based on evidence that such an exemption from the rules is justified and necessary, and does not unduly distort competition.

        Antitrust: the committee supports the Commission staff working document entitled ‘Towards a Coherent European Approach to Collective Redress’. It notes that private enforcement through collective redress could facilitate EU-level compensation for harm caused to consumers and undertakings and it discusses the issues relating to collective redress. Members also discuss fining policy as an important tool for public enforcement and deterrence. It urges the Commission to incorporate a detailed basis for calculating fines, along with new fining principles, into Regulation (EC) No 1/2003. Members encourage the Commission to review its fining guidelines and suggest a series of principles to evaluate such as introducing a distinction on the level of fines for undertakings who have acted intentionally or negligently.

        Merger control: Members believe that the economic and financial crisis cannot justify a relaxation of EU merger control policies. They call on the Commission to ensure that mergers, and in particular mergers designed to rescue or restructure ailing banks, do not create more ‘too big to fail’ and more generally systemic institutions.

        International cooperation: Members encourage the Commission to conclude bilateral cooperation agreements on competition enforcement, and welcome the announcement of the negotiation of such an agreement with Switzerland.

        Specific sectors: insofar as an open and competitive single market in energy has not yet been fully achieved, the committee asks the Commission to actively monitor competition in energy markets, specifically whenever privatisation of public utilities originates in monopolistic or oligopolistic markets. Members note that the three largest players still represent about 75% (electricity) and above 60% (gas) of the market, despite the gradual opening of the markets in the mid-1990s. The Commission is invited to issue guidelines in order to improve the access by renewables to the energy network.

        The report also discusses the following issues: (i) the concentration of critical raw materials suppliers; (ii) the need to open up competition in the credit rating agencies sector; (iii) the need to monitor developments in commodity-related markets push forward ambitious legislative proposals within the revision of MiFID and MAD framework in order to tackle speculative practices which adversely affects European industry; (iv) the competition situation in the retail sector, in particular the consequences of alleged abuse of market power by dominant retail chains in the agriculture and food market; (v) a sector inquiry into online advertising and search engines; (vi) an inquiry into the application of public procurement rules, and whether national differences lead to a distortion of competition; (vii) the need for completion of the internal market for all transport modes as the main goal of the European transport policy; (vii) the lack of competition in the roaming market; (ix) the need to analyse the aviation sector, in particular code-share agreements between airlines which in many cases do not produce any benefits for consumers. 

        Competition Dialogue: Members call for the conclusion of an agreement between Parliament and the Commission setting up a comprehensive dialogue on competition policy which should strengthen the role of Parliament as the directly elected body representing European citizens.

        Annual Competition Report: the committee urges the Commission to include in its Annual Report certain specified matters, including a description of the instruments adopted during the year in question, together with a justification for the changes made, and a summary of the contributions received from Parliament and from stakeholders in the context of public consultations, together with a justification as to why it has accepted some of the views expressed and not others.

        Lastly, Members urge the Commission to present the Competition Work Programme at the beginning of each year, including a detailed list of the binding and non-binding competition instruments expected to be adopted during the coming year and of the public consultations envisaged.

      type
      Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
      title
      A7-0424/2011
    body
    type
    Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date
    2011-11-29
    docs
    • url
      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=REPORT&mode=XML&reference=A7-2011-0424&language=EN
      text
      •  The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs adopted the own-initiative report by Andreas Schwab (EPP, DE) on the Annual Report on EU Competition Policy. It welcomes the Commission Report on Competition Policy 2010, and highlights, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of this report, the numerous benefits that EU competition policy has brought, stating that it is a constructive and stabilising factor in the EU’s financial system and in the real economy in general. Members feel that improved price transparency is essential in stimulating competition in the single market and offering real choice to consumers.

        Control of State aid: the report stresses that the temporary regime applicable to State aid has been positive as an initial reaction to the crisis, but that it cannot be prolonged unduly. It emphasises the need to discontinue temporary measures and exemptions as soon as possible and as soon as the economic situation allows it. It urges the Commission to link the extension of the temporary State aid to the banking sector beyond 2011 with enhanced and more stringent conditions related to the reduction of the balance sheet composition and size. This must include a proper focus on retail lending as well as stronger restrictions on bonuses, distribution of dividends and other operations on an ex post basis;

        The committee calls on the Commission to come forward with the legislative proposal to address in a true European framework the resolution of failing banks, guaranteeing a common rulebook as well as a common set of intervention tools and triggers, and limiting taxpayers’ involvement to a minimum, namely through the creation of harmonised self-financed (on a risk based approach) industry resolution funds.

        Members stress that the on going consolidation in the banking sector has actually increased the market share of several major financial institutions and, therefore, urge the Commission to maintain a close watch on the sector in order to enhance competition in European banking markets, including by imposing restructuring plans that imply the separation of banking activities where retail deposits allow these institutions to fund riskier investment banking activities.

        Members call on the Commission to ensure that the intended simplification of State aid rules for SGEI will not lead to deterioration in the monitoring of overcompensation. They take note of the Commission’s intention to introduce a ‘de minimis’ arrangement in respect of State aid for SGEI, and underline that unambiguous criteria are needed to determine what services would be covered by it. Any proposal to exempt in principle further categories of SGEI from the notification requirement must be based on evidence that such an exemption from the rules is justified and necessary, and does not unduly distort competition.

        Antitrust: the committee supports the Commission staff working document entitled ‘Towards a Coherent European Approach to Collective Redress’. It notes that private enforcement through collective redress could facilitate EU-level compensation for harm caused to consumers and undertakings and it discusses the issues relating to collective redress. Members also discuss fining policy as an important tool for public enforcement and deterrence. It urges the Commission to incorporate a detailed basis for calculating fines, along with new fining principles, into Regulation (EC) No 1/2003. Members encourage the Commission to review its fining guidelines and suggest a series of principles to evaluate such as introducing a distinction on the level of fines for undertakings who have acted intentionally or negligently.

        Merger control: Members believe that the economic and financial crisis cannot justify a relaxation of EU merger control policies. They call on the Commission to ensure that mergers, and in particular mergers designed to rescue or restructure ailing banks, do not create more ‘too big to fail’ and more generally systemic institutions.

        International cooperation: Members encourage the Commission to conclude bilateral cooperation agreements on competition enforcement, and welcome the announcement of the negotiation of such an agreement with Switzerland.

        Specific sectors: insofar as an open and competitive single market in energy has not yet been fully achieved, the committee asks the Commission to actively monitor competition in energy markets, specifically whenever privatisation of public utilities originates in monopolistic or oligopolistic markets. Members note that the three largest players still represent about 75% (electricity) and above 60% (gas) of the market, despite the gradual opening of the markets in the mid-1990s. The Commission is invited to issue guidelines in order to improve the access by renewables to the energy network.

        The report also discusses the following issues: (i) the concentration of critical raw materials suppliers; (ii) the need to open up competition in the credit rating agencies sector; (iii) the need to monitor developments in commodity-related markets push forward ambitious legislative proposals within the revision of MiFID and MAD framework in order to tackle speculative practices which adversely affects European industry; (iv) the competition situation in the retail sector, in particular the consequences of alleged abuse of market power by dominant retail chains in the agriculture and food market; (v) a sector inquiry into online advertising and search engines; (vi) an inquiry into the application of public procurement rules, and whether national differences lead to a distortion of competition; (vii) the need for completion of the internal market for all transport modes as the main goal of the European transport policy; (vii) the lack of competition in the roaming market; (ix) the need to analyse the aviation sector, in particular code-share agreements between airlines which in many cases do not produce any benefits for consumers. 

        Competition Dialogue: Members call for the conclusion of an agreement between Parliament and the Commission setting up a comprehensive dialogue on competition policy which should strengthen the role of Parliament as the directly elected body representing European citizens.

        Annual Competition Report: the committee urges the Commission to include in its Annual Report certain specified matters, including a description of the instruments adopted during the year in question, together with a justification for the changes made, and a summary of the contributions received from Parliament and from stakeholders in the context of public consultations, together with a justification as to why it has accepted some of the views expressed and not others.

        Lastly, Members urge the Commission to present the Competition Work Programme at the beginning of each year, including a detailed list of the binding and non-binding competition instruments expected to be adopted during the coming year and of the public consultations envisaged.

      type
      Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
      title
      A7-0424/2011
    body
    EP
    type
    Committee report tabled for plenary, single reading
  • date
    2011-12-15
    body
    EP
    type
    Debate in Parliament
  • date
    2012-02-02
    docs
    body
    EP
    type
    Text adopted by Parliament, single reading
committees added
  • body
    EP
    responsible
    True
    committee
    ECON
    date
    2011-01-18
    committee_full
    Economic and Monetary Affairs
    rapporteur
    • group
      EPP
      name
      SCHWAB Andreas
  • body
    EP
    responsible
    False
    committee_full
    Employment and Social Affairs
    committee
    EMPL
  • body
    EP
    responsible
    False
    committee
    IMCO
    date
    2011-07-14
    committee_full
    Internal Market and Consumer Protection
    rapporteur
    • group
      ECR
      name
      FOX Ashley
  • body
    EP
    responsible
    False
    committee_full
    Industry, Research and Energy
    committee
    ITRE
  • body
    EP
    responsible
    False
    committee
    TRAN
    date
    2011-07-12
    committee_full
    Transport and Tourism
    rapporteur
    • group
      EPP
      name
      MARINESCU Marian-Jean
links added
other added
  • body
    EC
    dg
    Competition
    commissioner
    ALMUNIA Joaquín
procedure added
dossier_of_the_committee
ECON/7/05762
reference
2011/2094(INI)
title
Annual report on EU Competition Policy
legal_basis
  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament EP 048
stage_reached
Procedure completed
subtype
Annual report
type
INI - Own-initiative procedure
subject
  • 2.60 Competition

code AGPLv3.0+, data ODBLv1.0, site-content CC-By-Sa-3.0
© European Union, 2011 – Source: European Parliament