The Implementation of the ECN+ Directive in Hungary and Lessons Beyond
Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2019-03
24 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2019 Last revised: 27 Nov 2019
Date Written: November 19, 2019
In order to facilitate NCAs in their application of EU competition rules, the EU legislator adopted Directive 2019/1/EU. The Directive’s aim is to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers of competition law and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market. The so-called ECN+ Directive introduces minimum harmonisation rules allowing competition authorities to have common investigative, decision-making (notably fining decisions) and enforcement powers. This paper will analyze the legal and policy developments that paved the way for the adoption of this Directive and critically assess these processes. Furthermore, it will examine the way the Hungarian legislator will likely implement the Directive in the current Hungarian legal and policy of competition law. The focus of the paper’s assessment is on the institutional aspects of the Directive and the enforcement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU, in particular independence and accountability mechanisms. Through the assessment of the Hungarian implementation it aims to shed light on a broader context of the Directive and the enforcement of EU competition law. It shows that the simple implementation of the Directive may fail to translate into (more) effective enforcement. It requires more de facto effective institutional capacity on the side of the NCAs and in the broader legal and constitutional context of competition law and its enforcement.
Keywords: EU competition law, Enforcement, Institutions, Harmonization, National procedures
JEL Classification: K2, K21, K33, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation