Show Summary Details
Policy-Making in the European Union

Policy-Making in the European Union (8th edn)

Helen Wallace, Mark A. Pollack, Christilla Roederer-Rynning, and Alasdair R. Young
Page of

Printed from Oxford Politics Trove. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 July 2024

p. 1306. Competition Policy

The Politics of Competence Expansionlocked

p. 1306. Competition Policy

The Politics of Competence Expansionlocked

  • Mark Thatcher

Abstract

This chapter examines the European Union’s competition policy. It shows that the EU’s legal powers in general competition policy—over restrictive practices, abuse of a dominant position, mergers, state aid, and state monopolies—are very extensive and highly supranational with few direct controls for national governments. The chapter then studies two views of the application of these powers—that they have been used in a more ‘neo-liberal’ manner in recent decades or that they continue to provide scope for industrial policies of supporting European champion firms. It underlines that the Commission has been an active and central player in policy-making, together with the European Court. But all actors operate in a wider context of large powerful firms as well as experts and practitioners in competition policy. The chapter concludes by analysing how the economic crisis after 2008 has reignited debates about altering the criteria for policy to give more place to aims other than protecting competition, to offer more space to national policy-makers, and to provide greater scrutiny and accountability for the Commission, as well as greater action to deal with the new ‘digital tech giants’, but that these encounter significant obstacles.

You do not currently have access to this chapter

Sign in

Please sign in to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription