Thank you Mr Chairman, my question, I wonder whether this is the right time to hold this debate. From a political perspective what we are discussing could be interpreted as a move towards centralisation of competition policy and the harmonisation of competition rules across the Union. And would not this be politically be a bit sensitive given the kind of political results we are getting across Europe on questions related to the relations between nation-states and central bureaucracy in Brussels, between Members’ rights and Union rights? So I would ask, whether this is politically the right moment to tackle this subject given the interpretation it is going to be given?

Beyond that I think we should also discuss within the context of National Competition Authorities and Brussels bureaucracy if you like, the kind of balance that should be achieved. First of all there is the perspective that you could call the way with which competition policy is handled is being one in which the judge, the jury and the prosecution are based at the same room, are based in the same bureaucracy basically. Should not this be also a subject of discussion as on now? And beyond that, another point that has already been mentioned, should we not discuss as well, a clear clarification of the rules that apply in terms of state aid, not just in terms of one-size-fits-all approaches that sometimes gets adopted, when state aid rules are being considered, but also in terms of the new approach, the new front that is being opened regarding the national taxation policies? So I think that these issues are related of course to how the central Brussels bureaucracy on competition operates, related to how national competition authorities should operate, and beyond that it sets out the kind of terms of preference with which both should operate and this could be more crucial at the moment then just trying to move such a divide forward.

Comment of ECON Chair IT S&D MEP Gualtieri: I think that one might say there is broad consensus on the fact that we have marginal improvements even if the system of partial decentralisation has worked well but we have margin of improvements in order to ensure more uniform enforcement of our common rules. It is interesting noting the very specific peculiarity of the constitutional status of our competition rules. We have on one hand the strongest level of uniformity because we have actors of competence on the rules as far as they are necessary to provide for the functioning of the internal market. At the same time, we have, and we cannot but have I would say, different decentralised combined system of implementation. So it is in any case if we compare for other cases of let’s say exclusive competences of let’s say monetary policy on one hand or a case where we have a shared competence but paradoxically now even with the banking union a more uniform European mechanism of enforcement. So this is necessary, and I think the case for moving towards a third stage after the first stage of centralised enforcement and partial decentralisation, now to move towards a third stage which does not mean going back to the centre but I think as the Commission has clearly tried to clarify but to keep the system as a whole to work in a more consistent and uniform way while also taking account of the proportionality and the specificity of our Member States which is of course a challenging task. Aristotle used to say, that equality means of course to apply equal solutions but also to take into account that to have equal results sometimes we have to take into account that apply(ing) equal things to different contexts do not bring to equal outcomes….

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