Do we still need the European Commission which serves to strengthen the monopolies?

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On the 29th March 2017 in the European Parliament MEP Ryszard Legutko organized a press conference on the bias of the European Commission and its unwillingness to hear complaints from countries in the Central and Eastern Europe.

According to the POLITYKA INSIGHT report entitled '(Un) fair Competition. Does the EU Competition Law Favour Certain Countries?', which was presented at the conference, the European Commission look favourably on the matters coming from Western Europe.

As the report says: Since 2004 the Competition Directorate never once sided with the company from new member states, if the case concerned the abuse of dominant position by the old EU - as MEP Ryszard Legutko emphasized:

It cannot be that the European Commission does not evaluate incoming complaints regarding the merits of the case, and only because of the country of the authors’ origin: Western Europe? Consider. Eastern Europe? Reject!

At the conference the complaint of the Polish company FAKRO was shown as an example concerning the abuse of dominant position by the Danish company VELUX. It was filed to the European Commission in 2012. The company has gathered a few thousand pages of evidence showing the unfair practices that take place on the European market for roof windows. Earlier, in similar and even less obvious cases, the European Commission imposed on the companies millions of dollars fines.

This time, however, this is not the case. The European Commission for 5 years did not bother to decide whether the actions taken by VELUX, the monopolist on the roof windows market shall comply with the regulations. The Commission for the first time officially referred to the case in December 2015, stating that it has neither time nor the resources to deal with the matter. What is interesting it is not lacking these attributes when it comes to the popular matters in the media such as the fight against the Google monopoly.

MEP Ryszard Legutko together with FAKRO appealed to the European Commission for fair consideration of the complaint and urged the EU Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager to address this issue. MP accuses the EC that this is not working properly because it does not give equal opportunities to companies from the Western Europe and Central - Eastern Europe companies, considering more eagerly the complaints submitted by the companies from the Western Europe.

As Ryszard Florek, the President of FAKRO stated:

We believe that every company in the EU to be able to operate freely, grow and create jobs must have a sense of security and justice. It must have a sense that it has the right to a fair judgment and that it can count on the fair treatment. The European Union was created to serve the citizens, to help entrepreneurs and to promote equal opportunities for development.

That’s why FAKRO has taken further action:

Today we have made a complaint to the European Ombudsman, as well as a petition to the Parliament. In this complaint we in detail point the blatant irregularities, which the Commission committed in connection with our case. On the other hand in the petition to the European Parliament we draw attention to the wider problem consisting in the lack of enforcement of European competition policy by the Commission. FAKRO is also in the process of preparing a complaint concerning the excessive length of the proceeding to the Court of Justice - as the lawyer Anna Radkowiak-Macuda, the FAKRO attorney, explains.

It is sad and scary, that the companies from the so-called new Europe cannot count on being equally treated. The EU has the one last chance to get out of the case with a face. I hope that the European Parliament and the EO will react properly - stressed MEP Legutko.

Read: POLITYKA INSIGHT report '(Un) fair Competition. Does the EU Competition Law Favour Certain Countries?'

Watch: RETRANSMISSION Compilation of EC Midday press briefing Q&A


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