The Unfulfilled Potential of the EU as a Global Actor in the Realm of International Competition Cooperation
Since long the exchange of confidential information among competition authorities has been approached with reluctance and suspicion. The EU has recently concluded its first ‘second generation’ agreement, allowing such information exchanges, with Switzerland. The agreement entered into force in December 2014. The EU thereby had the opportunity to annihilate many of the concerns revolving around this controversial issue by developing a clear and transparent model-agreement, containing appropriate safeguards. This paper claims that it has not done so. It identifies the concerns present, and assesses which ones are valid and which ones are not, by analysing how the EU-Switzerland agreement has or has not accommodated such concerns. It concludes that while some fears are misplaced, the agreement nevertheless fails to address some crucial issues. The EU has missed an opportunity to take the lead across the Atlantic in taking international competition cooperation to the next level and to confirm its role as major player in the international competition scene.
Valerie Dements . email@example.com
Valerie Demedts (°1987, Ghent, Belgium) has studied law at the University of Ghent (Erasmus exchange to Paris), as well as EU International Relations and Diplomacy at the College of Europe in Bruges. She is an academic assistant at Ghent University, currently in the final years of her PhD research, which focuses on the EU’s bilateral agreements in the field of competition law. She did internships at both international law firms and the European Commission, thereby infusing information from the field into her research.