EC Competition Law Enforcement at Grips with the Financial Crisis: Flexibility on the Means, Consistency in the Principles

Concurrences, No. 1, pp. 46-62, 2009

20 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2009

Date Written: January 30, 2009

Abstract

The financial crisis is today's most challenging issue faced by political and economic leaders across Europe and the world. It has been commented at length in recent months, including with respect to the European Union's contribution to a solution thereto. Away from the polemics, this article takes a comprehensive look at the European Commission's enforcement of EC competition law, in particular State aid rules, in the framework of the financial crisis. It is divided into two parts corresponding to what the author views as the two main policy options pursued by the Commission, namely: (i) "flexibility on the means"; but (ii) "consistency in the principles".

Those options appear to condition the possibility and legitimacy of the Commission's involvement in managing the crisis and have actually enabled the Commission to play a critical role so far, which, given the circumstances, has evolved into one of coordination between the 27 EU Member States' respective economic policies.

Keywords: Financial crisis, competition law, state aid, merger control, enforcement, European Commission

Suggested Citation

Gerard, Damien M. B., EC Competition Law Enforcement at Grips with the Financial Crisis: Flexibility on the Means, Consistency in the Principles (January 30, 2009). Concurrences, No. 1, pp. 46-62, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1338000

Damien M. B. Gerard (Contact Author)

University of Louvain - CeDIE ( email )

Place Montesquieu, 2
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

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