1820 Nov 2020

The Evolving Governance of EU Competition Law in Time of Disruptions: a Constitutional Perspective (webinar)

This conference aims at addressing the constitutional implications of the recent transformations of EU competition law, by combining the substantive changes the field is experiencing with the procedural consequences thereof.


EU competition law is faced with rapid and unprecedented changes. While the EU is still recovering from the 2009 economic crisis, climate change, technological innovation, geopolitical turmoil and, more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic are disrupting the way markets operate and people live. In response, the Commission appears to have stretched the scope of competition rules and devised new tools to tackle emerging problems. While EU competition law covers today new markets and areas, social and political dimensions have been added to its original aims. Meanwhile, national governments, companies and EU courts are reacting against this activism to protect their own prerogatives. These new dynamics are challenging the constitutional framework of EU competition law and deserve further attention. The role of actors, division of competences and effectiveness of enforcement and coordination mechanisms are particularly at stake in this changing picture. This conference aims at addressing the constitutional implications of the recent transformations of EU competition law, by focusing on the substantive and institutional changes the field is experiencing.


13.15-13.30 Welcome & Introduction
13.30-14.45 PANEL 1 - Actors and Relationships in EU Competition Law (1)
  Chair: Carlo Maria Colombo (Maastricht University)

Outside Competition: Brexit and external relations testing EU competition law by Kathryn Wright (University of York)


The Commission and the Member States by Giorgio Monti (Tilburg University)

  Discussant: Dimitris Tsarapatsanis (University of York)
14.45-15.00 Coffee Break
15.00-16.15 PANEL 2: Actors and Relationships in EU Competiton Law (2)
  Chair: Carlo Maria Colombo (Maastricht University)
  The role of companies in competition law by Dr. Fernando Pastor-Merchante (IE University)
  EU Courts and the Commission: what intensity for judicial review in state aid case? by Prof. Andrea Biondi (King's College London)
  Discussant: Dimitris Tsarapatsanis (University of York)
13.30-14.15 Keynote speech by Ms Inge Bernaerts (Director of Policy and Strategy at D.G. Comp)
14.15-14.30 Coffee Break
14.30-15.45 PANEL 3 - Powers and aims of competition law in the context of current challenges
  Chair: Mariolina Eliantonio (Maastricht University)
  EU competition law as an instrument for crisis management by Dr. Francisco Costa Cabral (Tilburg University)

Digital technology disruptions and competition law enforcement: a stress test for the European Commission’s flexible constitutional mandate? by Pieter van Cleynenbruegel (University of Liege)

  Discussant: Phedon Nicolaides (Maastricht University)
15.45-16.00 Coffee Break

PANEL 4: Powers and Aims of Competition Law in the context of current challenges

  Chair: Mariolina Eliantonio (Maastricht University)

The EU Commission’s role in promoting sustainability: obliged and limited but rather free by Julian Nowag (Lund University and University of Oxford)


EU competition law and democracy by Kati Cseres (University of Amsterdam)

  Discussant: Phedon Nicolaides (Maastricht University)
13.30-14.45 PANEL 5 - Instruments and procedures in a multi-level competition law landscape (1)

Chair: Kathryn Wright (University of York)


The changing shape of administrative procedures in competition enforcement by Herwig Hofmann (University of Luxembourg)


Rethinking competition law remedies in a multilevel system by Maria Ioannidou (Queen Mary University of London)

  Discussant: Mariolina Eliantonio (Maastricht University)
14.45-15.00 Coffee Break

PANEL 6: Instruments and Procedures in a Multi-Level Competition Law Landscape (2)


Chair: Kathryn Wright (University of York)


Soft Law in EU Competition and State aid: Promoting General Principles of Law?by Oana Stefan (King’s College London)


Conditionalities as instruments of governance in EU state aid law by Carlo Maria Colombo and Matteo Bonelli (Maastricht University)


Administrative Capacity, ‘Creative Compliance’ and State Aid Enforcement by Nicole Lindstrom (University of York)

  Discussant: Mariolina Eliantonio (Maastricht University)

Conclusion of conference and plans for publication


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