Trade & investment

Kroes asks ICC’s Competition Commission for support in building growth, jobs

  • 8 July 2005

Neelie Kroes, the recently appointed EU Commissioner on Competition, addressed over 40 competition experts from ICC member companies in different sectors and countries last week in Brussels, briefing them on her mandate and encouraging the ICC Commission on Competition to work with her and her team toward building a favourable climate to help businesses create badly needed growth and jobs.

Commissioner Kroes’ mandate will focus on implementing the renewed EU partnership for economic growth and jobs through competition policy.

“The key objective of competition policy is to increase Europe’s competitiveness though vigorous competition in European and global markets,” she said. “Global economic expansion and trade can create real win-win situations. Wealth created elsewhere is not lost prosperity at home: it creates opportunities for all involved.”

Competition policy is instrumental to ensuring open and dynamic markets which promote successful enterprise, stimulate long-term growth and raise standards of living around the world, a conviction Commissioner Kroes and ICC share.

During the meeting, Commissioner Kroes recognized ICC’s important role in fostering global competition.

The Commissioner, accompanied by the Director General for Competition, Philip Lowe, outlined the focus of the European Commission’s competition work in 2005. This included firmer enforcement action, competition advocacy and control of state aid. A new unit dedicated to fighting cartels would be established, and enquiries were also being launched in two key sectors: gas and electricity, and retail banking and business insurance. State aid control would be a central priority throughout her mandate, she said.

“My objectives for 2005 are effective enforcement focused on the most distorting types of aid and sectors that are key to competitiveness, and to start a process of state aid reform to reduce overall aid levels and promote better targeted aid,” Ms Kroes said.

“Looking ahead to 2006, the Commission has set itself four priorities: prosperity, solidarity, security, and a stronger voice in the world,” she said. “Our competition policies for 2006 will make a direct contribution to this agenda, focusing on key sectors for the internal market and the renewed Lisbon Agenda in order to put Europe back on track for the economic prosperity we so badly need.”