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Transnational networks and the emergence of EU competition policy

Brigitte Leucht, Joint paper with Katja Seidel

Political scientists have highlighted the role of different national models and legal traditions in capturing the recent shift in EU competition policy from the Rhenish to the Anglo-Saxon model (Wigger/Nölke 2007). But how can we demonstrate and measure the influence of one or another national model on EU competition policy? Our paper proposes to tackle this question with regard to the formative period of EU competition policy from the signing of the treaty of Paris establishing the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 to the adoption of Regulation 17 in 1962 by the European Economic Community. Based on extensive multilateral research in archival sources our paper argues that the network concept can be utilized to assess the influence of different models - that have emerged predominantly in the context of nation-states - on the genesis of EU competition policy. Focussing on the co-operation of state and non-state actors across national boundaries and the interaction between these actors and policy-making, we will demonstrate why certain models - most importantly, US anti-trust and German ordo-liberalism - impacted on the emergence of a supranational competition policy, while other models - notably, the UK model - played little or no role in this process.

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