Competition: Conference on 4 February 2021 on competition policy contributing to the European Green Deal

© European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service, Margrethe Vestager© European Union, 2021, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service, Margrethe Vestager

Capping a period of wide-ranging public consultation and debate, Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, brought together a broad range of politicians, CEOs, NGOs, academics, competition experts and enforcers to discuss how competition policy can further support the objectives of the European Green Deal. The conference was followed by 3,000 participants. The role of competition policy is to protect effective competition in markets and cannot replace the vital role of regulation in fighting climate change and protecting the environment. At the same time, it contributes to helping Europe achieve its green goals. The panellists reflected on how competition rules and sustainability policies work together and on whether they could work together even better in the future. There was broad consensus that competitive markets will drive the innovation Europe needs to adopt more energy-efficient technologies and to build back stronger following the coronavirus crisis. Executive Vice-President Vestager stressed that “We have what it takes to make a difference – to leave our children a world where they breathe clean air, and drink unpolluted water; where the oceans and forests are still full of life; and where human activity is not accelerating climate change. But to do that, we all need to work together. And that includes competition enforcers. Since the start of this mandate, we launched a review of our competition rules to make sure they are fit for purpose, in a changing world – a world of twin, green and digital, transitions, and of growing challenges to fair and open global trade.” The views and contributions collected during the consultation and yesterday’s conference will feed into the Commission’s work, including the ongoing review of its   guidelines in the field of antitrust and State aid. You can watch the recording of the conference here.