How can competition rules support the Green Deal?
EN: How can competition rules support the Green Deal? This webinar will be an opportunity to discuss how competition rules can support the green transition of our economy and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This webinar follows the European Parliament annual report on competition policy for which Stéphanie Yon-Courtin was Rapporteur and the proposals put forward. Vice-President Margrethe Vestager will recall the importance of the Green Deal within her portfolio and will present the ongoing and upcoming work of the European Commission on the area. This open discussion will follow on from the debates initiated following the response to the Covid-19 crisis and will provide an opportunity to consider how best to take into account sustainability issues in competition rules, whether in terms of State aid, horizontal cooperation agreements, or mergers and acquisitions.
FR: Comment les règles de concurrence peuvent-elles soutenir le Pacte Vert? Ce webinar sera l'occasion de discuter de la manière dont les règles de concurrence peuvent soutenir la transition écologique de notre économie et atteindre la neutralité carbone d'ici 2050. Ce webinar s'inscrit dans la poursuite du rapport annuel sur la politique de concurrence dont Stéphanie Yon-Courtin était Rapporteure et dans lequel des propositions avaient été faites. La Vice-Présidente Margrethe Vestager rappellera l'importance du Pacte Vert au sein de son portefeuille et présentera le travail actuel et à venir de la Commission européenne sur le sujet. Cette discussion ouverte fera suite aux débats initiés à la suite de la réponse à la crise de la Covid-19 et permettra de s'interroger sur la meilleure manière de prendre en compte les enjeux de durabilité dans les règles de concurrence, que ce soit en matière d'aides d'État, d'accords de coopération horizontale, ou de fusions et acquisitions.
Q: Follow up question on the question that the concept of Consumer welfare be enlarged. MV replied: that in a case of a merger, if the merging parties have cleared competition concerns, they should also follow environmental regulations. QUESTION; Can the DG comp. block a merger if there is not competition concern, yet there is non-compliance on environmental regulations? (to Margrethe Vestager)
Université Laval (Student)
Q: Is it something thinkable to create a European Research Center in some sectors as energy, automobile and agriculture ? It could be the fruit of the cooperation between private actors and public authorities that will merge their funds within one institution to support the innovation for ecological matters in the perspective of the decarbonization objective. (to Margrethe Vestager)
Policy and Regulatory Report
Q: Could we see a revision of the horizontal guidelines so as to allow the European Commission to include non-economic benefits in its assessment of agreements between competitors? Given the urgency of the climate crisis, could we see the revision of the guidelines and the underlying legislation earlier than 2022?
Q: The costs of breakthrough decarbonisation technologies for greening energy intensive industries in Europe are in most cases too high and the business case is often not there at all to attract private and public finance. What tools can EU Competition and State Aid policy put in place to support investments in these technologies in Europe and not elsewhere? (to Margrethe Vestager)
Q: Mr. Canfin, almost a year ago you helped "green"the European Investment bank by increasing it's green investments to 16 Billion Euros a year. The European Court of Auditors researched that we needed more than a trillion euros a year in such investments. Are you satisfied with 16 Billion? If not, what is your objective? what steps will you take to reach your objectives? (to Pascal Canfin)
Q: We are concerned by the significant competitive distortion caused by regulations relating to the Internal Market for Gas which gives it a dominant market position at the expense of competition from renewable heating and cooling services, particularly from geothermal energy. could you ensure fair competition for heat services in the EU ? (https://www.egec.org/the-european-union-must-ensure-fair-competition-for-heat-services-in-the-eu/ ) (to Margrethe Vestager)
Q: Dear Pascal, Last Sunday was car-free Sunday in Brussels, I am sure you are aware. I think that is a great idea not only for our physical and mental health but also to cut some emissions for a day. Couldn't there be a car-free Sunday EU legislation? Maybe once a month everywhere in Europe? What do you think? (to Pascal Canfin)
Q: Renew France advocated for a European Bank of Climate. How would you welcome this policy? How would it fit under the competition rules? Would 1 trillion euros in green bond investments be the landmark project of the Commission you represent? (to Margrethe Vestager)
College of Europe (student)
Q: I understand that hand-in-hand cooperation with other parts of EU regulation is important. But before being consumers, consumers are citizens. Shouldn’t the notion of « consumer welfare » be interpreted more broadly than just consumer choice and low prices - allowing Competition law to tackle other issues? (to Margrethe Vestager)
Q: Has it started yet ?