Effective enforcement of competition law is vital for the functioning of markets and economies. As competition authorities are constrained by scarce financial and human resources, they cannot effectively enforce every possible infringement. Setting clear and effective priorities is an essential precondition for reserving society’s resources for the most harmful infringements. Credible enforcement priorities build independent and accountable competition authorities, which form a fundamental building block for our economies.
Building and maintaining effective enforcement priorities is especially important for developing countries and economies in transition that often have limited resources and developing institutional structures. It also serves the goal to promote economic and social development.
Nevertheless, the theoretical foundations and actual practices underlying the setting of enforcement priorities remain vastly unexplored across the globe. Often enforcers, policymakers, and legislators overlook the relevance and role of priority setting, and do not question how competition authorities’ prioritisation choices are or should be controlled, for example, through judicial review or internal guidance. Similarly, priority setting is an under-investigated area in the competition law scholarship.
The Priority Setting Project aims to fill this gap by offering a theoretical, conceptual, and empirical framework for mapping and visualising existing laws and practices and developing best practices in the formulation of effective competition law enforcement and competition policies worldwide.
The first part of this project focused on competition law enforcement in the European Union and the UK.
The current joint project expands it to other regions across the globe, focusing on developing countries.
The project will provide:
- Publications of empirical and normative research and policy papers on prioritisation rules, principles, and practices.
- Stimulate discussions and policy change through the joint organisation of conferences and seminars on priority-setting practices, gathering stakeholders from civil society organizations, academia, national and international organisations.
- Organisation of trainings and workshops for specific competition authorities.
- Phase 1: Collection of data through an online questionnaire and interviews with competition authorities
- Phase 2: Analysis of responses
- Phase 3: Findings and Recommendations
Current Phase of Implementation
The project is at Phase 1.
Dr. Kati Cseres
Associate Professor of Law, Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance, University of Amsterdam
Dr. Or Brook
Associate Professor of Competition Law and Policy, School of Law, University of Leeds