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Parliamentary questions
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20 February 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Carmen Avram
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: The ECN+ Directive, the independence and resources of national competition authorities and the Romanian Government’s latest ordinance decision

The ECN+ (1) Directive (2) is intended to empower national competition authorities (NCAs), allowing them to become more effective enforcers. More specifically, it aims to ensure that when applying the same EU antitrust rules, NCAs have the appropriate enforcement tools (3) .

By means of an emergency ordinance, the Romanian Goverment enabled (4) Bogdan Chiriţoiu (5) to become President for life of the Romanian Competition Council (6) . Chiriţoiu’s second term of office was due to end in March 2020. The latest government ordinance allows Competition Council plenum members to be appointed for life in these functions, as opposed to limiting them to two terms of five years.

Article 1(1) of the ECN+ Directive ‘sets out certain rules to ensure that national competition authorities have the necessary guarantees of independence, resources, and enforcement and fining powers […] so that competition in the internal market is not distorted and that consumers and undertakings are not put at a disadvantage by national laws and measures’.

Is the Commission aware of this ordinance by the Romanian Government and is it in line with European Competition Network best practice?

Is the above-mentioned political intervention enabling the lifetime appointment of Romanian Competition Council plenum members in line with ECN+ principles and does it meet minimum standards?

How does the Commission view the independence and resources of the Romanian Competition Council?

(2)OJ L 11, 14.1.2019, p. 3.
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