Sizing Up the Competition: Explaining Reform of European Union Competition Policy in the Covid-19 Era

Citation:

Meunier, Sophie, and Justinas Mickus. “Sizing Up the Competition: Explaining Reform of European Union Competition Policy in the Covid-19 Era”. Journal of European Integration 42.8 (2020): , 42, 8, 1077-1094. Web.

Abstract:

Ensuring fair competition has long been a core pillar of the European Union (EU). In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the EU has diverted significantly from its traditional commitment to market-based competition, notably in state aid and foreign subsidies. This article explores change and continuity in post-Covid-19 European competition policy (ECP) by considering both the radicality and permanence of these changes. Using process-tracing based on primary documents, secondary materials, and personal interviews, this article examines recent shifts in EU competition policy, probing three causal factors: 1) digitization of the global economy; 2) geopoliticization of competition regulation; and 3) Brexit. We argue that the Covid-19 crisis has brought these pre-existing challenges to ECP to the fore and, thereby, created space for policy entrepreneurs in EU member state governments and institutions to push for greater promotion and protection of European industry in the internal market while reinforcing supranational competition enforcement.

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 12/30/2020