Making EU network, markets competitive

J.L.M. Pelkmans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Since the late 1980s the EU has made great strides in the liberalization of network markets. This article assumes a horizontal perspective, juxtaposing different network markets while focusing solely on the rules and policies at EU level. A six step checklist is applied to facilitate a comparative analysis of EU regulatory liberalization in gas, electricity, telecoms, postal services, and rail and air transport. Competition policy is discussed with respect to: the relation between regulation and competition policy; the role of the EC Curt; the 'essential facility' doctrine; defining relevant markets; and merger control in network industries. Finally, the question is addressed as to whether these network industries operate in an EC internal market. The answer is no. Policy recommendations: the EU defines a well-considered overall strategy for network market liberalization; the issue of the internal market with common regulators, at least where a subsidiarity test is passed, should be squarely addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-456
JournalOxford Review of Economic Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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