THE EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR COMPETITION: THE COMPETITION COUNCIL HAS TO PROCEED AS AN INDEPENDENT AUTHORITY
Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for competition and the accompanying EC officials visited the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania and held meetings with the officials of the Lithuanian competition authority. Rimantas Stanikūnas, Chairman of the Competition Council introduced to the delegation the most recent developments in the activities of the authority and its endeavours to most efficiently enforce the provisions of the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania as well as the European competition rules.
In her presentation Neelie Kroes highlighted the most important areas in the EC competition policy placing a special emphasis on the unbiased assessment of the situation and the processes in individual markets in view of the impact the strengthening of competition and the disclosure of various infringements produced upon the economic growth. Neelie Kroes noted the need to further consolidate the efforts in disclosing the cartel agreements especially detrimental to consumers of both the individual States and the European Union in general. The Commissioner also pointed out the importance of the private enforcement and the priorities in ensuring the fair provision of State aid.
While having specifically noted the expertise of the specialists of the Lithuanian Competition Council the Commissioner pointed out the areas of activity that would further facilitate the attainment of the targets defined for the national competition authorities of the EU Member States. This included the independence of the institution from politics and business structures, knowledge of the status and problems in individual sectors of the economy, and the effort of the State to alleviate the market regulation. The Commissioner also noted how important it was to enforce the leniency programs while promoting the tool with a view to encouraging the economic entities to eradicate the instances of unfair competition.
Neelie Kroes also responded to the questions posed by the specialists of the Competition Council.
Competition Council Spokesperson