Chapter 8: Competition policy

In this field, acquis covers anti-trust, abuse of dominance and concentrations as well as state aid control policies. Rules and procedures have been developed to fight behavior that is breaching principles of competition, to disable state aid distorting internal competition and to put under scrutiny mergers between undertakings. Rule regarding competition are directly applicable in all Member States and their enforcement is obligatory.

In anti-trust, combating abuse of dominance and concentrations Member States are required to closely cooperate with the Commission in adopting competition procedures. Since May 2004 all national competition authorities are empowered to fully apply Treaty provisions for combating competition distortion, as well as national courts in protecting the individual rights conferred to citizens. In regard to state aid, European Commission decides whether or not aid granted by the Member State is compatible with the Common Market. Internal market is setting up the system for ensuring unhampered competition and there is a surveillance system in the case of undertakings to which Member States grant special or exclusive rights.

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Open Society Foundations

Regional Research Promotion Programme