Commission On Protection of Competition Bulgaria organises the European Competition Day on 31 May in Sofia on the occasion of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. The meeting will discuss key legislative developments in the European competition law such as the Damages Directive and the future ECN+ Directive which will have the determining influence on the enforcement of competition rules in the forthcoming years. Attention will be also paid to cases that arise before the competition authorities in the energy sector. More specifically, the European Competition Day will be organised in three sessions dedicated to different topics:
ECN+ Directive: what will the plus bring?
This session will discuss the future Directive of the EU Parliament and of the Council to empower the competition authorities of the Member States to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market, hereinafter referred to as ECN+.
The Directive aims to provide the national competition authorities of the Member States with the necessary powers to detect competition law infringements, to sanction companies in breach of legislation, to act independently when applying European competition rules and to have the necessary tools to carry out their tasks. The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU coincided with the discussion on the proposal for the Directive in the EU Council G12 Working Group on Competition which allowed the CPC to actively participate in this process.
Competition in energy markets: the way to ensure affordable and secure supplies for all consumers
This session will focus on a sector that affects everyone – energy. Over the last decades, this sector has been characterised by a gradual transition from monopoly to the gradual opening up of these markets to competition. At the same time, due to the existence of an infrastructure that cannot be duplicated, there is also a risk of abuse of a dominant position. This session will discuss the role of competition authorities in these markets, the most frequent types of competition infringement in the sector and how competition can ensure better functioning of these markets in such a way as to bring benefits to all consumers. The Commission on Protection of Competition closely monitors the competitive environment of the electricity market. The public significance of this sector has necessitated the carrying out of a new wide-ranging survey on the situation on the electricity market which presented a detailed overview of the current market processes and the need for additional measures contributing to the proper and effective functioning of the competitive environment. In this regard, pursuant to Decision No 59/22.01.2018 the Commission initiated proceedings for conducting a sector analysis of the electricity market.
Fixing the damages – expected effects of the application of the Damages Directive
This session will discuss the effects of the application of the recently transposed in the Member States Directive 2014/104 EU on actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States and of the European Union. The Directive removes the practical obstacles to compensation for all victims of infringements of EU Competition law. The Directive is expected to boost private enforcement in the area of competition. This, in turn, would have a full impact on the application of the competition rules.