ERT Expert Paper – Competition Policy contributing to the Green Deal
How can we ensure alignment between EU Competition Policy and the European Green Deal?
The Working Group on Competition Policy of the European Round Table for Industry (ERT) welcomes the reflection on the relationship between competition policy and the Green Deal and strongly believes that competition law should be adapted to facilitate the achievement of the objectives under the Green Deal.
ERT encourages the Commission to play a lead role so as to ensure a consistent approach across the EU and globally.
i. ERT calls on the Commission to design a state aid temporary framework or specific guidelines to ensure:
a. A swift implementation of Next Generation EU funds and national recovery plans to generate rapid and effective investment to truly deliver a green recovery; and
b. A level playing field between companies competing on the merits in different Member States, as well as in the context of the EU Emission Trading System, and in countering the distortive impact of foreign subsidies.
ii. ERT considers that a broad range of collaborative agreements, including horizontal agreements between competitors, will be both necessary and effective to deliver EU Green Deal objectives. EU block exemption regulations should facilitate sustainability initiatives.
iii. Given the scale and urgency of the climate challenge, there is an urgent need for specific written Guidance or Guidelines indicating that the Commission encourages collaboration for the purposes of the Green Deal. It is essential that the Commission counteracts the perception that horizontal cooperation will be viewed with suspicion: boldness is required if climate change is to be averted.
iv. ERT calls on the Commission to simplify the merger control process as much as possible to reduce the burden in relation to straightforward cases that contribute to Green Deal objectives.
v. In its substantive assessment, the Commission should take into account the interests of future consumers and society at large when weighing the sustainability benefits of a transaction, without relegating that analysis (only) to an efficiencies defence.