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EU Resists Antitrust Reform Plans Until 2021

 |  March 11, 2020

The European Commission will not look into the possibility of revising the bloc’s competition rules until at least 2021, despite recent pressure from a group of EU Member States, reported EurActiv. 

The executive’s industrial strategy, published on Tuesday, March 10, aims to bolster Europe’s competitiveness and its “strategic autonomy” amid testing global markets and future challenges related to sustainability and digitalization.

The document highlighted the importance of an independent EU competition policy and noted that the current rules were being looked into, but stopped short of making any significant strides in the field, despite a recent joint letter from Germany, France, Poland, and Italy to Vice-President Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, calling for more urgency in updating the bloc’s competition framework.

The letter came after a period of frustration for the French and Germans after Vestager blocked a merger deal between rail firms Alstom and Siemens. And, although Vestager previously stated that reform in the competition arena would come, Tuesday’s industrial strategy notes that any such plans will only be evaluated, reviewed, and, ‘if necessary’ adapted as of 2021.