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The Balance between Expertise and Participation in EU Competition Policy

Carlo Petrucci

Competition policy fits the current agenda to strengthen the market economy and make European economies more competitive. To a large extent, competition enforcement is driven by economic expertise that is used as a main tool to legitimise and provide competition policy with a strong rationale. In turn, both positive and normative economics are underpinned with a number of abstract and unrealistic assumptions and concerned with a limited and exclusive set of values.This paper tests whether participation in the decision making process of EU competition policy is able to challenge the predominant assumption that market regulation is a depoliticised area which finds its justification in economic expertise.The paper examines the main actors involved in EU competition policy such as the Commission (DG Competition), the European Parliament, possible external experts, and stakeholders submitting their contribution during the Impact Assessment process.It then focuses in particular on the role played by the European Parliament when discussing the Commission's proposals on competition policies. In particular, it explores whether the European Parliament takes stakeholders' contributions into account or is more deferential to the technical expertise underpinning the Commission's proposal.

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