The Commission for the Protection of Competition (CPC) forms part of the European Competition Network (ECN), which was established by Regulation (EC) No. 1/2003, as a system of parallel competences in which the Competition Authorities of Member States apply the competition rules.
The European Competition Network constitutes a forum for discussion and cooperation for applying and enforcing EU competition policy. It provides a framework for cooperation between the European competition authorities in cases in which Articles 101 and/or 102 TFEU are applied and a basis for creating and fostering a common competition culture in Europe. The EU Commission and competition authorities from EU member states cooperate with each other through the ECN by:
· informing each other of new cases and envisaged enforcement decisions;
· coordinating investigations, where necessary;
· helping each other with investigations;
· exchanging evidence and other information; and
· discussing various issues of common interest.
In 2013, the Competition Authorities of the Member States within the framework of ECN adopted seven documents reflected the ECN Recommendations concerning the powers of investigation that the competition authorities should have as well as the powers to take decisions on the application of the competition rules. These Recommendations are intended to be used as supporting documents or for the purpose of determining competition policy.
The seven recommendations are posted on the ECN website and are as follow:
(i) ECN Recommendation on Investigative Powers, Enforcement Measures and Sanctions in the context of Inspections and Requests for Information.
(ii) ECN Recommendation on the Power to Collect Digital Evidence, including by Forensic Means.
(iii) ECN Recommendation on Assistance in Inspections conducted under Articles 22(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003.
(iv) ECN Recommendation on the Power to set Priorities.
(v) ECN Recommendation on Interim Measures.
(vi) ECN Recommendation on Commitment Procedures.
(vii) ECN Recommendation on the Power to Impose Structural Remedies.
Furthermore, from time to time some other forms/documents are issued by ECN, such as the following:
§ European Competition Network Newsletter
§ Best Practices on cooperation between EU National Competition Authorities In Merger Review
§ ECN Model Leniency Programme: 2012 revision.