DP1009 | Linking Competition and Trade Policies in Central and East European Countries

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This paper explores options for governments of Central and East European countries to increase the sensitivity of competition law enforcement to trade and investment policy, thereby supporting a liberal trade policy stance. The competition laws of these countries tend to resemble European Union (EU) competition disciplines (Articles 85-86 of the Treaty of Rome), but leave great scope for discretion on the part of enforcement authorities to interpret the relevant statutes. Much can therefore be done through appropriate wording of criteria and implementation guidelines with the framework of currently existing legislation. Active enforcement of competition laws and maintenance of a liberal trade policy will be crucial not only for national welfare, but also in terms of eliminating the threat of contingent protection on the part of EU firms. It is suggested that a link be sought between competition law enforcement and antidumping investigations in the context of the Association Agreements with the EU.