Competition Policy in Central Eastern Europe in the Light of EU Accession
This study reviews the progress made in EU accession candidates on competition policy. The analysis shows that institution-building and legislation are well under way and that anti-trust practice is not too lax. Due to the diversity among the accession countries under review, the study finds that the strictly rule-based frame work of the EU might not be the most favourable solution for some candidates: firstly, the small and open economies of most candidates make it particularly difficult to define the ‘relevant market’ in competition cases. Secondly, the traditionally intense vertical integration of production in accession states calls for a reassessment of ‘vertical restraints’. The policy implications of this study suggest that the EU competition task force should take a proactive, case-by-case approach vis-à-vis its new members.