What is it?
Competition legislation in the European Union is continuously evolving, with the European Commission and Member States having agreed to review a number of the existing provisions. The Commission, together with the national competition authorities, directly enforces EU competition rules. Within the Commission, the Directorate-General for Competition is primarily responsible for these direct enforcement powers.
Why is it important?
EU competition rules are aimed at promoting and maintaining free competition in the EU, and preventing cartels and monopolies from sharing out markets and fixing prices. When companies compete to provide goods and services, prices go down, quality tends to improve and customers have more choice. Competition also helps technological innovation to flourish. It is therefore crucial for engineering industries to ensure a well-functioning competition legislative framework.
In Orgalime’s view, modern competition rules should leave space for innovation, unified standards, and the development of small businesses. In the past, we generally welcomed the Commission’s initiative to modernise the Block Exemption Regulation with a view to simplifying it and making it clearer. We particularly welcomed the more flexible approach introduced, including the limited number of block exemption clauses.
How we’ve been engaged
Orgalime has issued position papers on the reform of the transfer of the Technology Block Exemption Regulation, and has organised meetings with European Commission officials. We have commented on the use of market thresholds, which is often problematic for the engineering industry, where innovative companies often have high market shares in a niche market when launching a new and innovative product. Due to the changes in legislation, Orgalime has also produced a guide on the EU’s Competition Policy and issued an updated version of the Orgalime Model Form “International Technology Licence Agreement”. Moreover, Orgalime has participated in the past in consultations launched by DG Competition, and is constantly monitoring new policy or legislative initiatives introduced by the institutions, such as state aid modernisation and the reform of state aid procedures.