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Competition Policy

As one of the founding members, the Commission is proud to be part of the International Competition Network (ICN). The ICN provides competition agencies from all over the globe with a dedicated network for addressing competition enforcement and policy issues of common concern. It facilitates procedural and substantive convergence in antitrust enforcement and merger control .

ICN 2022 Annual Conference took place on 4 – 6 May 2022. Recordings from the sessions can be found on the conference website.

Working groups

There are five substantive working groups in the ICN, addressing advocacy, agency effectiveness, cartels, mergers and unilateral conduct.  Working Group members confer primarily via conference calls and e-mails, and hold periodic teleseminars and workshops. Working Groups organize panel and small group discussions at the ICN Annual Conference conference and present work products for adoption.

Call for interest International Competition Network – Non Governmental Advisors (ICN-NGAs) 2022 - 2023 - CLOSED

ICN members work closely with a number of non-governmental advisors ("ICN-NGAs"), including private practitioners, academics, representatives of international professional organizations and industry and consumer groups. This close cooperation results in ICN work products that benefit from the input of a wider spectrum of perspectives.

DG Competition wishes to cooperate closely with a balanced range of ICN-NGAs in order to ensure that the European Commission's contribution to the respective working groups' work products is of a high quality and based on the experience of a wide range of relevant stakeholders.

Therefore, like the other ICN members, the European Commission can select a number of ICN-NGAs. To be selected as an ICN-NGA requires demonstration of relevant expertise in competition policy and a strong commitment to contribute actively to the work of the ICN. More particularly, the selected ICN-NGAs will be expected to contribute actively, alongside the European Commission, to the drafting of and revision of specific Working Group products as well as participating in teleseminars, webinars and workshops. The annual Work Plans for each Working Group can be found on the ICN website.

At the last ICN Annual Conference, which took place in Berlin on 4 - 6 May 2022, it was officially announced that DG COMP was selected as a new co-chair of the ICN Merger Working Group (MWG)for the next three ICN years. For the next ICN year, DG COMP will be co-chairing the MWG together with the Brazilian and Norwegian Competition Authorities.

The European Commission is interested in building a broad and balanced network of ICN-NGAs that includes in-house/external lawyers, economists and representatives of the academic world, the judiciary, consumer groups and business organisations. If you would like to become an ICN-NGA in support of the European Commission, please contact DG Competition, using the following mailbox: COMP-ICN@ec.europa.eu. The call for interest will be open until 31 May 2022 (close of business).

Candidate ICN-NGAs are requested to specify the ICN Working Group(s) in which they wish to become involved and the reasons why they consider that they would be able to provide value added to the group(s) indicated. When the workload of the different ICN Working Groups so requires, the European Commission may request the ICN-NGAs to also contribute to the work products of ICN Working Groups for which the ICN-NGAs did not originally express a preference.

Please note that ICN activities are carried out in English and that neither the ICN nor the European Commission provides for any remuneration for the NGAs’ involvement.

The European Commission will review all applications received and select an adequate and balanced number of ICN-NGAs. All applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection process.

In selecting the ICN-NGAs, DG COMP will give weight to the following criteria:

  • S/he has to be an EU national;
  • S/he has to have at least 5 years of relevant experience;
  • Her/his expertise (e.g. through publications) must match the annual working plan of the working groups for which s/he would be selected;
  • S/he has to show a firm commitment to play an active role in the ICN events to which s/he is invited to participate and in the working groups for which s/he would be selected;
  • When acting as an ICN-NGA for the EU, s/he must not go against the fundamental values and the general interest of the EU as expressed in the Treaties;
  • S/he should be able to speak and interact in English in front of an audience;
  • S/he must not be acting as an NGA for any other competition agency.

The selected ICN-NGAs will be appointed for one ICN year. The European Commission reserves the right to withdraw the appointment of any selected ICN-NGA, at any moment, in case of manifest inactivity or no longer fulfilling any of the above criteria.

ICN-NGAs who have been selected by the European Commission may also be invited to participate in the ICN's Annual Conference and in the ICN Workshops.

With regards to the 2023 Annual Conference, the European Commission will, in due time, consult its ICN-NGAs for an expression of interest. Considering the limited number of available places, the European Commission may not be able to honour all requests. A selection will be made based on the demonstrated level of involvement in ICN activities in support of the European Commission throughout the ICN year. All applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection process.