Seventh Report on Competition Policy (published in conjunction with the 'Eleventh General Report on the Activities of the Communities'). For year 1977.
The economy of Europe is undergoing a difficult period of transition. Much structuralweakness has become apparcnt or become worse following a reduction in demandeccompanied by increased pressure of imports. If structural change is essential in orderto reach a new economic balance, it is as well to teaLize that this will be difficult toechieve in a dimate of poor economic growth unless clear perspectives are maintained.The role of the Commission must therefore be to promote and establish structuralchange within a socially acceptable framework. The illusion must be resisted that enter-prises can protect themselves against those necessary changes by coming to terms withtheir competitors or by seeking excessive protection frorn narional authorities.Competition policy plays an important role in the application of the basic rules whichgovefn the integration of markets. The flow of trade creates the need for constantstructural adaptation. The maintenance of non-competitive behaviour or anti-competitivepractices, on the other hand, leads to partitioning of markets in the sectors directlyinvolved, which then tends to spill over into related sectors in the downstream markets.It is no coincidence that these simple but basic rules should be challenged at a timewhen the forces of competition s€em to demand excessive sacrifices in certain sectors,particularly so far as employment is concerned, following a lasting slowing-down in thegrowth of or a switch in demand. Private arrangements for organizins markets or govern-rnent intervention affecting the competitive ability of undertakings have the object ofsoftening the rigours of market forces. If some of these measures are prompted by themarket, others on the other hand substitute themselves for the market, the decisions insuch cases being centralized, whether they concern production capacities or governproduction itself or price
Number of pages247p.
DescriptionSections are bookmarked. Blank pages have been removed.
A bibliographical slip can be found at the end of this volume