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Competition provisions in plurilateral regional trade agreements Anestis Papadopoulos Hellenic Competition Commission.

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Presentation on theme: "Competition provisions in plurilateral regional trade agreements Anestis Papadopoulos Hellenic Competition Commission."— Presentation transcript:

1 Competition provisions in plurilateral regional trade agreements Anestis Papadopoulos Hellenic Competition Commission

2 Definitions Plurilateral: Agreements concluded by more than two countries Plurilateral: Agreements concluded by more than two countries Regional: Agreements concluded by neighbouring countries Regional: Agreements concluded by neighbouring countries Trade agreements: Free trade agreements, customs unions, common markets, economic and monetary unions Trade agreements: Free trade agreements, customs unions, common markets, economic and monetary unions

3 Presentation outline 1. History and development of regionalisation in different parts of the world 2. Brief introduction to the regional models of competition law and policy 3. The experience of Greece in the context of its participation in the EU

4 1. History and development of regionalisation Europe: Regionalism goes back to 17 th century Europe: Regionalism goes back to 17 th century Following the WWII: Following the WWII: 1951:ECSC 1951:ECSC 1957: The Treaty of Rome was signed establishing the EEC 1957: The Treaty of Rome was signed establishing the EEC 1960: EFTA 1960: EFTA 1992: EEA 1992: EEA

5 History and development of regionalisation Latin America: Long history of regionalisation Latin America: Long history of regionalisation 1960s: LAFTA 1960s: LAFTA Currently: Andean Community, Mercosur, CARICOM. Currently: Andean Community, Mercosur, CARICOM.

6 History and development of regionalisation North and Central America: No tradition of regionalisation North and Central America: No tradition of regionalisation Nonetheless, this has recently changed (NAFTA, CAFTA-DR) Nonetheless, this has recently changed (NAFTA, CAFTA-DR)

7 History and development of regionalisation Africa: Long tradition of regionalisation: SACU is the oldest existing CU, first set up in 1910 Africa: Long tradition of regionalisation: SACU is the oldest existing CU, first set up in 1910 At the moment, there are 14 plurilateral agreements in Africa, with overlapping membership, and varying objectives, structure and level of integration At the moment, there are 14 plurilateral agreements in Africa, with overlapping membership, and varying objectives, structure and level of integration These agreements include: WAEMU, COMESA, CEMAC, EAC, ECOWAS, and SACU These agreements include: WAEMU, COMESA, CEMAC, EAC, ECOWAS, and SACU

8 History and development of regionalisation Asia: The major countries (Japan, South Korea and China) still prefer to get involved in bilateral agreements with selected trade partners Asia: The major countries (Japan, South Korea and China) still prefer to get involved in bilateral agreements with selected trade partners ASEAN (first signed in 1967) ASEAN (first signed in 1967) APEC (under negotiation) APEC (under negotiation)

9 2. Importance of competition law in plurilateral regional agreements 50% of CU and 60% of common markets and economic unions include competition provisions (Cernat 2005) 50% of CU and 60% of common markets and economic unions include competition provisions (Cernat 2005) Given the lack of a binding agreement on competition, plurilateral regional agreements may offer very useful insights as to the way that competition provisions may operate in an international environment Given the lack of a binding agreement on competition, plurilateral regional agreements may offer very useful insights as to the way that competition provisions may operate in an international environment The participation in plurilateral regional agreements may act as an impetus for the adoption and application of national competition rules by the Members States The participation in plurilateral regional agreements may act as an impetus for the adoption and application of national competition rules by the Members States

10 Models of regional competition 2 main models: 2 main models: Agreements including substantive provisions: anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominance. (EU, WAEMU, COMESA, CARICOM) Agreements including substantive provisions: anticompetitive agreements and abuse of dominance. (EU, WAEMU, COMESA, CARICOM) Centralised enforcing body, with second degree review by a court (Jenny and Horna 2005) Centralised enforcing body, with second degree review by a court (Jenny and Horna 2005) Secondary legislation (EU, WAEMU) Secondary legislation (EU, WAEMU)

11 Models of regional competition Agreements providing for cooperation between member states (NAFTA, SACU) Agreements providing for cooperation between member states (NAFTA, SACU) Complementary enforcement cooperation agreements (US- Canada, US-Mexico, Canada- Mexico) Complementary enforcement cooperation agreements (US- Canada, US-Mexico, Canada- Mexico)

12 3. The Greek experience as a member of the EU no tradition of competition policy before the enactment of law 703/1977 no tradition of competition policy before the enactment of law 703/1977 The law was adopted in the context of the accession negotiations The law was adopted in the context of the accession negotiations

13 Development of law Articles 1, and 2 of Law 703/1977: identical to art. 81 and 82 of the EU Articles 1, and 2 of Law 703/1977: identical to art. 81 and 82 of the EU Regulation of mergers: first introduced in Regulation of mergers: first introduced in In 2006, the HCC adopted a leniency programme and notices on de minimis and imposition of fines In 2006, the HCC adopted a leniency programme and notices on de minimis and imposition of fines

14 Development of the institutional framework 1979: The HCC was set up as a branch of the Ministry of Commerce 1979: The HCC was set up as a branch of the Ministry of Commerce : The HCC operated as an advisory body : The HCC operated as an advisory body 1995: The HCC became an independent administrative authority 1995: The HCC became an independent administrative authority 2000:The HCC became financially autonomous 2000:The HCC became financially autonomous : The HCC actively participates in the ECN, the number of decisions issued has been increased and the personnel has been doubled : The HCC actively participates in the ECN, the number of decisions issued has been increased and the personnel has been doubled

15 Current operation of the HCC in the context of its participation in the ECN 1/5/2004: Regulation 1/2003 1/5/2004: Regulation 1/ : Law 703 was amended, in order to give the competence to the HCC to apply articles 81 and : Law 703 was amended, in order to give the competence to the HCC to apply articles 81 and 82 Close cooperation with the European Commission and the other member states through the ECN Close cooperation with the European Commission and the other member states through the ECN Art. 11: Obligation to notify art 81 and 82 cases to the EU Commission, at least 30 days before the issuance of a decision Art. 11: Obligation to notify art 81 and 82 cases to the EU Commission, at least 30 days before the issuance of a decision

16 Ways in which the EU has contributed to the development of a culture of competition in Greece Legal Framework Legal Framework Development of a consistent competition policy by the EU Commission and the European Courts – supremacy of EU law Development of a consistent competition policy by the EU Commission and the European Courts – supremacy of EU law Frequent contacts between Greek officials and DG COMP officials Frequent contacts between Greek officials and DG COMP officials Internships at EU Institutions Internships at EU Institutions

17 Conclusions 1. Plurilateral regional agreements are proliferating 2. This trend has a long history in Europe, South America and Africa but it gradually becomes evident in North and Central America and Asia too 3. Two models of regional competition law 4. The Greek experience shows that the development of a competition culture is a lengthy one.


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