Auditors publish Background Paper on EU competition policy enforcement

The European Court of Auditors has today published a Background Paper on the enforcement of the EU’s competition rules. Background Papers provide information on ongoing audit tasks and are designed as a source of information for those interested in the policy and/or programmes being audited.

Today’s Paper is based on preparatory work for an audit currently underway on whether the European Commission has been effective in enforcing EU competition rules. Competition policy covers anti-competitive behaviour, mergers and state aid.

The Background Paper includes sections on the importance of competition in the EU single market, as well as the issues surrounding it, including anti-competitive behaviour and market restructuring. It sets out the EU’s objectives for competition policy, the regulatory environment and the roles and responsibilities of the various authorities at EU and Member State level.

We hope that readers find in this Background Paper useful information on what the scope is of our audit,” said Alex Brenninkmeijer, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit. “Competition policy plays a vital role in the EU single market and it is important that it is understood as widely as possible.”

The auditors will be conducting interviews with officials in the European Commission and in national competition authorities. They will also review documents related to the Commission’s enforcement activities and its cooperation with Member States’ national competition authorities. Publication of the audit report is expected towards the middle of 2019.

The full paper is available here.


Credit: Damijan Fišer –

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