OBJECTIVES AND RESEARCH AREAS
To channel all the activities and projects in the area of competence, the Royal University Institute for European Studies has the Competition and Regulation Policy Centre. The Centre participates in joint research with other national and international centres and takes part in research projects promoted by public and private institutions. The results of the research activity are collected in numerous publications in the form of working papers, manuals and reports.
The analytical work focuses on two main areas: competition policy and the phenomena of liberalisation, privatisation and regulation in special sectors.
With regard to the area of Competition, the concern about the application of the discipline of defence of competition in today's society, from a political point of view, stands out. Furthermore, special attention is paid to the articulation of the defence of competition in present and future national, Community and international rules.
At European Union level, the Commission has made a major effort to adapt the rules to a highly sophisticated business environment. The economic approach of the new regulatory provisions also poses a challenge for companies, which must take on board the changes and adapt to the new legislation.
LIBERALISATION, PRIVATISATION AND REGULATION IN SPECIAL SECTORS
Within the scope of liberalisation, privatisation and regulation, research activity is focused on economic sectors such as telecommunications, energy, transport, financial services and postal services. In all these areas, the European Union has sought to create a liberalised common market. In this way, various initiatives have been taken to liberalise markets and harmonise standards at European level.
- Energy: the European Commission's activity has focused on opening up the gas and electricity markets. To this end, various measures have been adopted and different options proposed to promote access to the networks. The Commission's work has also focused on analysing the security of supply
- Transport: one of the priorities of Community policy has been to adapt to the needs of citizens. To this end, the Commission's objectives were aimed at reviving the railways, promoting river and maritime transport and enabling the various means of transport to be interlinked
- Telecommunications: the Centre for Competition Policy also aims to analyse the extensive regulation of the telecommunications market. The various provisions aim to develop and strengthen the internal market, promote competition and safeguard public and consumer interests
- Postal services: with regard to postal services, Community policy has sought to open up gradually to competition, while safeguarding the universal service at all times. To this end, a regulatory framework has been drawn up to encourage improvements in the quality of service
- Financial Services: The Financial Services Action Plan was launched in 1999 with the priority objective of establishing an integrated European financial market. Since then, the Commission has constantly reaffirmed the importance of financial market integration as a factor in economic growth and employment, working to improve the regulation and supervision of financial markets and the strengthening of institutions. This is demonstrated by the adoption of the European Financial Supervision System in 2010