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European Commission to Scrutinize Italy’s New Competition Law

 |  January 4, 2024

In a press statement on Thursday, a spokesperson for the European Commission (EC) announced that it will closely examine the recently adopted competition law in Italy, placing particular emphasis on regulations governing street traders and beach concessions. The EC representative disclosed that they will engage in a bilateral dialogue with Italian authorities to address concerns related to these two specific aspects of the legislation.

The European Commission has been actively monitoring the situation in Italy concerning street traders and has already initiated discussions with national authorities regarding this matter. The spokesperson underscored the importance of maintaining an open channel of communication with Italy to ensure that the new competition law aligns with European Union (EU) standards.

President Sergio Mattarella officially promulgated the competition law on Tuesday. However, the head of State appended reservations, urging the government to take action to bring regulations on street traders in line with EU rules that advocate for increased competition in the licensing process. Currently, contracts for street traders are automatically renewed every 12 years, a practice that the EU seeks to address to foster a more competitive market.

President Mattarella emphasized the necessity for additional initiatives by the Government and Parliament in the near future. Drawing parallels with a previous incident involving beach concessions last year, where the government amended a decree following the President’s criticism, Mattarella signaled that similar corrective measures might be required for the current competition law.

The overarching goal of Italy’s new competition law is to invigorate the country’s economy through a series of measures designed to promote increased competition. As the European Commission scrutinizes the specific provisions related to street traders and beach concessions, the dialogue between the EC and Italian authorities will be crucial in ensuring alignment with EU regulations while simultaneously addressing President Mattarella’s concerns.

The unfolding developments underscore the delicate balance between national legislation and EU standards, highlighting the need for ongoing collaboration to create a competitive economic landscape that benefits both Italy and the wider European Union.

Source: ANSA IT