Publication Archive

This archive contains all documents published by cep over the last few years:

cepAdhoc: Incisive comment on current EU policy issues.

cepPolicyBrief: Concise 4-page reviews of EU proposals (Regulations, Directives, Green Papers, White Papers, Communications) – including a brief summary and economic and legal assessments.

cepInput: Impulse to current discussions of EU policies.

cepStudy: Comprehensive examination of EU policy proposals affecting the economy.

 

 

2014

Vertical agreements are entered into by companies operating in the production or distribution chain at different levels. Such agreements are generally prohibited, however, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union provides for exemptions from the general prohibition. The Commission decides whether or not an exemption is given. In its Block Exemption Regulation in the Motor Vehicle Sector (EC) No. 1400/2002 and its Guidelines, the Commission is presenting the conditions according to which an agreement is deemed in line with competition law. Said Regulation will expire on 31 May 2010. At the end of last December the Commission has submitted a follow-up Draft Regulation and Draft Guidelines.

2014

Under horizontal agreements, undertakings co-operate as competitors at the same level in the value-added chain. The Guidelines are intended to make it easier for undertakings to assess themselves whether or not their intended horizontal agreements infringe the ban on cartels of Art. 101(1) TFEU and whether an exemption applies. They contain general and agreement-specific explanations of the assessment of horizontal agreements for goods and services. The revised version contains also contains explanations on “information exchange” between undertakings which are relevant in terms of competition law.

2014

Research and development agreements can stipulate provisions on the partial outsourcing of R&D activities, R&D co-operations or the common distribution and marketing of jointly developed products. Thus they can increase efficiency, lower costs and intensify the exchange of ideas and experience. The revised version of the Block Exemption Regulation for research & development agreements provides for a new exemption condition, namely that, prior to starting an R&D, all parties must disclose their existing and pending rights in intellectual property. Moreover, the Commission extends the scope of “hardcore restrictions” for both, the passive and active distribution.

2014

Specialisation agreements are horizontal agreements between undertakings on the specialisation requirements regarding the production of certain goods or the provision of services. With regard to specialisation agreements on intermediary products captively used for the production of downstream products the recast version of the Block Exemption Regulation requires a second market share threshold. Moreover, the Commission specifies the definition of “potential competition“ and clearly states that specialisations can be exempted even if a party chooses to cease production only “partly”.

2014

Within the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, Member States agreed to improve there coordination of their economic policies. To this end, the Commission recommends to the Member States guidelines to harmonise their economic policies. In shaping their economic and fiscal policies and in developing national reform programmes, Member States should act in line with these guidelines.

2014

The Commission is reviewing the European standardisation procedures in terms of their efficiency and transparency. The aim is to develop a reform proposal (“standardisation package”) facilitating a more efficient and transparent European standardisation. Moreover, the Commission wishes to simplify the access to standards for SME and to increase the capacity for innovation of European enterprises.

2014

The strategy „Europe 2020“ replaces the failed strategy of Lisbon and is to „turn“ the EU into a „smart, sustainable and inclusive economy“ delivering “high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion”. The Commission is setting five headline targets to be attained by 2020 with the highest priority being smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The European Council has approved three of the five key targets, but strongly mitigated the other two. Moreover, the Commission is putting forward seven flagship initiatives which are to “commit both the EU and the Member States” and to be pursued by the Commission and the Member States. The Commission intends to monitor progress of target achievement by reports to be provided by the Member States.

2014

The Commission intends to promote the use of public private partnerships in order to mobilise private funds for public investment projects. To this end, it wishes to remove obstacles to the implementation of PPPs in Member States and the EU and to support PPPs through EU funding.

2014

The food supply chain comprises agricultural enterprises producing commodities, commodity exchange traders, food processing companies, (producers) and food retailers. The Commission criticises the lacking “resilience“ to boosting commodity prices (“shocks in agricultural prices“).It deems a “better functioning food supply chain“ as “urgently“ needed to avoid an “escalation“ in prices as the economic recovery sets in. In its Communication it presents measures to achieve these objectives. Amongst other things, it intends to prepare sets of standard contracts, whose use would be voluntary for the market players.