The Transformation of European Community Competition Law?
52 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2013
Date Written: 1994
In a 1991 article entitled The Transformation of Europe, Joseph Weiler analyzed the profound changes that have occurred in the institutional structure of the European Community during the past two decades. The cumulative effect of these changes has been, he claimed, to "transform" the Community, to alter its basic characteristics. In this Article, I focus on the competition law system of the Community — one of its central pillars — and ask whether it also has changed in fundamental ways. I conclude that it has and that it is in the process of changing even more fundamentally, with potentially profound, and as yet largely unrecognized, implications for the future of Europe — and beyond.
Conventional descriptions of Community competition law project a different image; intimations of fundamental change rarely surface and then only at the margins of discourse. The dominant theme is the "maturation" of Community competition law, and the focus is on whether conceptual and doctrinal questions have been "answered" or "clarified" and on whether competition law procedures have been made fairer or more efficient. These are important issues, but they are not the focus of my inquiry. I seek instead to apply a different conceptual lens — a lens designed to detect changes in the operation of the competition law system and in the forces affecting it.
Keywords: competition law, antitrust law, international law, comparative law, Europe, legal systems, community
JEL Classification: K19, K21, K33, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation