The Evolution of a European Competition Law Network
European Competition Law Annual 2002: Constructing the EU Network of Competition Authorities (C. Ehlermann & I. Atanasiu eds., Hart Publishing 2005)
22 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2013
Date Written: July 17, 2005
Networks necessarily have a time dimension. They consist of relationships that take shape and function over time. The European Commission’s proposals to "modernize" the EU’s competition law system call for the establishment of a "European competition law network" that will perform key functions within the system. In assessing these proposals, the time dimension thus takes centre stage. This paper examines that dimension by locating the Commission’s network proposals within the development of European competition law.
This paper has three main objectives. One is to identify the changes that will be brought about by the proposals. Effective assessment requires analysis of the ways in which the proposed network ("PNW") differs from past and current competition law experience. A second goal is to explore some possible implications of these changes for the proposals. How, if at all, should they be modified? What strategies should aid in achieving their goals? And what can we expect from them? Finally, I consider how we talk about networks. The network concept has become fashionable in discussions about Europe’s future, and much potential value is ascribed to it. However, the idea is often so vague that it carries little useful content. If networks are to function as many hope they will, we need to develop a language for talking about what they are, what they do, and how they do it.
Keywords: European Commission, competition law, Europe, proposed network, PNW
JEL Classification: K19, K21, K23, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation