Competition Law and Regulation in the Internal Market

The defence of the competition and the regulation of the internal market are areas of great relevance in the process of European integration. In this area the European Commission has a great capacity for manoeuvre and consequently, exercises a great influence on the activity of the economic operators. This is the reason why the study of these elements is one of the pillars on which the research task of the Institute of European Studies is based.

To canalise all the activities and projects in the area of competition, the Institute of European Studies relies on the Centre for Competition Policy. The Centre takes part in joint investigations with other national and international centres and research projects promoted by public and private institutions. The results of the research activity are reflected in numerous publications in the shape of working papers, manuals and reports.

Origins

The study of this subject begins in the San Pablo CEU University with the celebration, in the spring of 1999, on the first seminar dedicated to the Competition Policy. This seminar was based on the reform of the community regulation for the control of concentrations, which had just been approved. In addition the reform foreseen in the Spanish system for the control of concentrations, was analysed. From then, with the impact created by the foundation of the Institute for European Studies, the task of promoting and researching into competition policy would be greatly promoted.

Objectives

The line of research dedicated to the defence of the competition and regulation of the internal market aims at reaching deep knowledge of the legislative and executive processes related to these areas. The research task departs from the detailed analysis both from the regulation and from the activity of the administrative and judicial authorities.

On this basis, the application of the competition policy for the economic national, European and global environment is valued. In addition the problems and difficulties that can arise from the regulation of the internal market are analysed. Once this is done, the prospects for the future are posed and solutions are proposed.

The research process is carried out not only from the perspective of the academic sphere, but also from the point of view of those who work in the business world. In this way, different social actors are implicated, who participate in an open way in the debates that are organised in the Centre for Competition Policy and the Institute for European Studies. This analytic approach, guarantees that on one hand, discussions are based on real and relevant problems, and on the other that conclusions reached have a practical application.

The analytic task is focused on two essential areas: competition policy and the phenomena of liberalisation, privatisation and regulation in special sectors.

As regards the competition area, we underline the preoccupation about the application of the discipline of defence of the competition in our society from a political point of view. In addition, special attention is paid to the articulation of competition defence in the present and future national, Community and international rules. The last decade reform process in the European Union sphere and its new future challenges has an extraordinary relevance. The Commission has carried out a great effort to adapt the set of rules to a very sophisticated business sector. The new economic approach included in the new set or rules also constitutes a great challenge for the firms that must assimilate changes and adapt to a new legislation.

The Centre for Competition Policy also pays special attention to the reform process that has just taken place in Spain. The new Law for the Defence of Competition and its application is one of our priorities.

Nor can we forget about the role that citizens must play in the development of the Competition Policy, since ultimately they will be the beneficiaries from the competitive functioning of the markets.