European Competition Law
Full course description
This course offers an overview of the main areas of EU competition law sensu lato, that is including State aid and liberalization measures. The importance of this area of EU law cannot be overstated. It sets out to create a level playing field between economic operators in one of the biggest economies of the world. In addition, the application of its principles has important consequences for the interplay, and respective roles, of the market and the state in providing certain services and products meant to promote welfare. Finally, EU competition law may be considered a ‘laboratory’ of EU law at large, especially as regards judicial protection. Developments in public as well as private enforcement often orginate in competition law and are then extended to other areas of EU law.
The course covers the substantive and procedural domains of all five branches of EU competition law: cartels, abuse of dominant position, concentration control, state aid, and public undertakings and services of general economic interest. Theory and practice are held to be equally important. From a theoretical perspective, the course aims to structure what might otherwise appear a chaotic multitude of regulations and cases. From a practical viewpoint, it is built upon the study of real-life or hypothetical cases.
The aim of this course is to invite students to study the legal sources of EU competition law in order to:
- gain a thorough knowledge of the relevant legal principles derived from these sources and application thereof to real life cases;
- reflect on the purpose(s) of EU competition law, its place in the legal framework for the internal market of the European Union and its interface with the legal systems of the Member States
- examine and appraise the role of each of the actors in EU competition law both at EU level and national level;
- identify, discuss and evaluate new developments in the case law of the EU courts or national courts applying EU law, and the administrative practice of the European Commission and national competition authorities applying EU law.
- for all of the foregoing: suggest and defend, orally and in writing, options for change after critical assesment
Knowledge of EU substantive and institutional law is a prerequisite to follow the course.
Literature: Readers with selected legal sources, case-law and materials.