Press Releases Belgian presidency of the EU: a competition policy that protects our people, strengthens our economy and prepares for our shared future

Belgian presidency of the EU: a competition policy that protects our people, strengthens our economy and prepares for our shared future

On 26 April in Brussels, as part of the Belgian presidency of the European Union, the FPS Economy and the Belgian Competition Authority (BCA) brought together political decision-makers in charge of competition at national and European level, as well as competition authorities, companies, practitioners and lawyers.

Organised in turn by the Member States holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union, Competition Day is an important event eagerly awaited by the entire competition community, providing a genuine opportunity to exchange views and engage in open discussion on current concerns and issues relating to competition policy and its implementation.

The theme chosen by the Belgian presidency is: ‘a competition policy that protects our people, strengthens our economy and prepares for our shared future‘; a theme that particularly resonates at a time when, as Séverine Waterbley, Chair of the Management Committee of the FPS Economy, reminds us, “We are faced with tensions linked to rivalries between major powers, socio-economic upheaval, climate change, structural market failures, the concentration of economic power in the hands of a few players, and price distortions, which have a direct impact on our markets. In this context, competition policy and the application of competition rules are two essential foundations of a modern, healthy economy. They contribute to the functioning of markets, the interaction between companies and the ability of consumers to benefit from choice and fair prices. As Enrico Letta reminded us in his report on the future of the single market, “Guaranteeing fair competition is the very essence of the internal market.

Axel Desmedt, President of the Belgian Competition Authority, agrees: “Competition is at the heart of European integration. In fact, many European legislative frameworks have their origins in the development of competition case law. This is the case, for example, with most of the network industries, or more recently with the Digital Markets Act, whose provisions were directly inspired by the experiences gathered in the competition cases dealt with by the competition authorities in recent years. And this is not an isolated case. Many other legal texts governing the functioning of the internal market are based on the idea of a free market where everyone should be able to compete. At a time when some people are questioning the competition model and contrasting it with competitiveness or a sovereign industrial policy, it is essential to remember that competition is our industrial policy in Europe and our key to success. It is competition that drives quality, innovation and investment.

Guided by these issues and priorities, the discussions were structured around four main questions:

  1. Which competition policy in uncertain geo-economic times?
  2. Which national competition policy for the digital economy in the post-Digital Markets Act context?
  3. Which competition policy to protect the European Union economy? The present and future of the foreign subsidies regulation
  4. Which competition policy for the agri-food industry in an inflationary context?

The discussions held at this Competition Day will complement the Letta report and help determine how to build the future of the single market. Promoting fair competition is essential for our competitiveness and to better protect European consumers,” states Belgian Minister of the Economy Pierre-Yves Dermagne.

No matter what you do, never give up on competition. Because whatever your initiative, without competition it will be weaker,” concludes European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.

Follow the livestream of the European Competition Day:

David Jordens, spokesperson – woordvoerder – porte-parole

TEL: +32 478 92 09 37


Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
Rue des Petits Carmes / Karmelietenstraat 15
Brussels 1000 – Belgium

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