European Commission’s decision on blocking the merger of Siemens-Alstom in early 2019 raised the debate over whether the EU competition policy should be changed to promote the formation of “European champions” to be able to compete against the giants of globalized markets and if it is possible to reconcile a
European industrial policy with competition policy. This reflection acquires greater importance in the current economic context of post pandemic crisis. In fact, the utilization of additional resources released by the Next Generation EU could be a further element to be considered in the relationship between industrial policy and competition policy.
Globalized markets require the champions where the size is the driver of competitiveness. The European economy, with its growing specialization, is adapting in this sense, but it is necessary to avoid the growth in the size of companies, including mergers and acquisitions, conflicts with the principles of competition policy. Therefore, to reduce the probability of a stop to mergers and acquisitions, it is necessary to guarantee or increase the contestability of the markets by cutting down the barriers to entry; a company, even if dominant, cannot harm consumers if its market-place is open and easily accessible from the outside.
Opening remarks: Giampiero Massolo, President Scientific Committee Diplomacy-Festival della Diplomazia
Olivier Guersent, Director General DG for Competition, European Commission
Vincenzo Celeste, Director General for the European Union, Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Stefan Pan, Delegate of the President for Europe, Confindustria
Klemens Moemkes, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Germany in Italy
Valentina Meliciani, Professor of Applied Economics, LUISS Guido Carli
Chair: Antonia Carparelli, Economic Governance Advisor, Representation of the European Commission in Italy
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