Document stages in plenary
Document selected : O-000022/2014

Texts tabled :

O-000022/2014 (B7-0105/2014)

Debates :

PV 04/02/2014 - 20
CRE 04/02/2014 - 20

Votes :

Texts adopted :


Parliamentary questions
29 January 2014
O-000022/2014
Question for oral answer
to the Commission
Rule 115
George Sabin Cutaş, on behalf of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

 Subject: EU cooperation agreements on competition policy enforcement - the way forward
 Answer 

On 1 June 2012 the Commission adopted a proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of an agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation concerning cooperation on the application of their competition laws, for which it is seeking Parliament’s consent.

1. How does the Commission intend to ensure effective cooperation with Switzerland in the absence of binding obligations? Could the broad margin of discretion left to the parties, in particular through the possibility of invoking ‘important interests’ as grounds for not applying the agreement, come to hinder the effectiveness of the agreement? What tools does the Commission have to monitor the application of the agreement?

2. How does the Commission plan to ensure that the attractiveness of leniency programmes is not affected by the possibility of exchanging confidential information under this agreement? In the event of an illegal disclosure or use of exchanged information (Article IX(2)), what steps would the Commission take to minimise any harm resulting from such use or disclosure and to ensure that a situation of this kind does not recur?

3. How are the negotiations on a second-generation bilateral agreement with Canada progressing? Does the Commission plan to initiate negotiations on a second-generation agreement with other countries in the short or medium term? How does the Commission plan to build upon its Memoranda of Understanding with important emerging economies such as China or India and to strengthen its cooperation with them? Are such non-binding instruments effective at all? How does the Commission intend to keep Parliament regularly and duly informed of any planned and ongoing negotiations?

4. In the absence of criminal sanctions in the current European competition law regime, how will the Commission make sure that information transmitted by the EU in the framework of second-generation agreements cannot be used to impose custodial sanctions on natural persons? What is the Commission’s position on the possibility of introducing criminal sanctions for competition infringements at EU level?

Last updated: 31 January 2014Legal notice