Competition is the driving force of the European economy – Op-Ed in The Parliament Magazine

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Competition policy is one of the most important tools in order to ensure a proper functioning of the internal market and to safeguard competition. The yearly report in the European Parliament is important in order to examine the work done by the Commission.

One main aim for the competition policy must be to ensure fair competition on the internal market. However, it is also of crucial importance to open up for new competition, for example on the digital single market. It is therefore important that we look upon the digitalization as an opportunity, not as an excuse to regulate and hinder competition. Instead of hindering competition on the digital single market, we need to open up for more competition and innovation.

My view is that the European Parliament must avoid politicising how the Commission interprets the competition legislation. It is not the role of the European Parliament to demand that the Commission should look closer on certain countries or cases. This is up to the Commission to decide. In addition, it is not the role of the European Parliament to present a wish list of general factors outside of current competition legislation.

Another important topic for the competition policy is the energy market. The Commission has an important role in safeguarding the energy union.

This implies a no to Nord Stream 2 as it would concentrate roughly 80 percent of Russian gas transports to Europe on a single route and 26 percent of European gas consumption. It would uproot the architecture of the European gas markets and, what is more, increase the dominance of state-controlled Gazprom to the detriment of competition, security of supply and market reforms, in a defining time for the European Energy Union.

If Europe is to be the leading actor in the global economy of tomorrow, it must be the undoubted world leading economy for innovation, entrepreneurship and competition. Competition has given Europeans better products, lower prices and new services. It is the competition and the openness for innovation that once paved the way for Europe becoming one of the world leading economies.

We cannot take a step backwards from a philosophy that more than anything else integrates European economies and gives room for entrepreneurship of the future and dynamic growth in a time when we need to take many steps forward. In order to be the world’s most competitive economy, we must never be afraid of competition.

Competition is the driving force of the European economy and protectionism is the main hindrance to integration and global competitiveness.

Competition brings openness for everyone willing to try new solutions and to develop new ideas. It gives an opportunity to choose something better. It creates new products and services. Competition can bring competitiveness to Europe. Never before in the history of the European Union has it been quite so obvious that competition must define the European economy.



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