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The Vital Importance Of Establishing ‘A System Ensuring That Competition In The Internal Market Is Not Distorted.

2609 words - 10 pages

Article 3(1)(g) of the EC Treaty recognised the vital importance of establishing 'a system ensuring that competition in the internal market is not distorted.' To facilitate this, competition policy must, as has been established, 'enforce competition law whenever there are harmful effects on Europe's citizens or businesses [and] also ensure that the regulatory market fosters competitive markets.' The focus, ultimately, has been to achieve a wide range of objectives, all of arguable importance. Nevertheless, ensuring that all objectives are achieved to perfection is not essentially realistic, thus unquestionably certain objectives have been given priority over others. [1: P.Lowe, The Design of Competition Policy Institutions for the 21st Century - the Experience of the European Commission and DG Competition' (2008) 3 Competition Policy Newsletter [Online] http://ec.europa.eu/competition/publications/cpn/2008_3_1.pdf]Traditionally, the objectives of the policy were laid out in Article 2 of the Treaty of Rome that encompassed forming a common market and consequently gave the EU wide-ranging powers to oversee and prevent activities, which it believed would be likely to prevent competition. Due to the structure of the European Union, a key priority has thus been the instrument of single market integration, enabling the progressive removal of State-imposed barriers to trade between the Member States. Through attaining this, it can be argued, competition policy has aimed, whilst monitoring the survival of the fittest; also protect the weak and the pursuit of important social goals. [2: Report on Competition Policy, 2010, COM (2011) 328 final][3: Barnard, Catherine, Scott, Joanne, The Law of the Single European Market: Unpacking the Premises, 1st edn, (Oregon: Hart Publishing, 2002) p 311]The defence of smaller firms has been arguably a reason behind adopting competition laws. The European Commission takes the view that small and medium sized firms should be protected from aggregations of economic power to improve inconsistency and effectiveness and ultimately to limit distortions of competition. An objective that goes accordingly with this is that of fairness and equity, forcing firms to behave in a certain way to both customer and rivals. Following on, one of the 'masters' of competition law, along with the imperative of single market integration is the protection of competition as an institution. A result of this protection consequently leads to goals such as that of protection of competitors, creation of employment and protection of environment. It is important to note however, more recently, the Commission has adopted an approach of economic efficiency, thus arguably theorising the protection of competition and market integration as serving means to enhancing consumer welfare and of ensuring an efficient allocation of resources. [4: Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, C...

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