Almunia Announces Commission Competition Policy for 2013

In a speech published Oct. 8, 2012, European Commission Vice President Joaquín Almunia presented the Commission’s competition policy work program for 2013 and 2014. These include reform of state aid rules, with the aims of supporting growth, streamlining the decision-making process and prioritizing cases that have a “significant impact” on the internal market. Almunia also confirmed that the Commission has not abandoned its initiative in the field of antitrust damages actions. Plans for legislation in this area were announced in the Commission’s competition work program for 2012, and were intended to be implemented during the course of this year. The objectives are to ensure effective damages actions before national courts for breaches of EU antitrust rules and to clarify the relationship between private actions and public enforcement, especially regarding the protection of leniency programs. Almunia confirmed in his speech that, despite the delays, he remains committed to proposing measures in this area. The full text of the speech may be found here.