Join Prof. Phoebe Koundouri on 28/9 @ 16:40 for a discussion on “What is the Green Growth Agenda and what are its implications for the organization of the economy and public policy in the field of economic regulation?” at the conference: “Sustainable development and competition law Towards a Green Growth regulatory osmosis”, organized by Hellenic Competition Commission.
“Sustainable development and competition law Towards a Green Growth regulatory osmosis” Hellenic Competition Commission
Moderator: Nikos Vettas, IOBE
Phoebe Koundouris, Athens University of Economics and Business
George Dellis, Capodistrian University of Athens Law School
Panagiotis Fotis, Hellenic Competition Commission
Yannis Katsoulacos, Athens University of Economics and Business (to be confirmed)
Visit the link for the tele-conference on Monday, 28th of September: https://www.epant.gr/en/sustainability.html
At a time when the phenomenon of climate change becomes more acute, the need to accelerate the transformation of the Greek economy becomes urgent, through the adoption of environmentally friendly actions for the benefit of consumers and citizens, but also as a means for enhancing the competitive advantage of businesses. The aim is to adapt the Greek business environment to the context of a prosperous green, without restrictions, economy by adopting green and technologically advanced solutions. After all, environmental protection in Greece is a constitutional obligation of the State as defined in Article 24 of the Greek Constitution.
To begin an open dialogue, the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) has published a Staff Discussion Paper, where it analyses convergence areas and conflicts between sustainable development and competition law in all its aspects. The paper highlights the parameters of sustainable development that can be promoted either without proceeding in any changes with regard to competition law enforcement, or by following a smooth adaptation of the notion of sustainable development followed by specific suggestions, or perhaps by adopting an innovative approach or even an adjustment of the established theories of harm.
The main suggestions of the paper are as follows:
The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) should facilitate the transition to a Green economy and support innovation within the Green economy taking into account possible externalities from generation to generation, through the use of new tools and approaches in order to understand consumer behavior.
Competition law should become more synchronised with the broader constitutional values and programmatic aims regarding sustainability, at the international, EU and national levels.
It is deemed necessary to provide undertakings with the legal certainty they need in order to make the necessary investments.This requires more targeted competition law interventions that provide a clear set of rules to follow. Collecting information on the various business strategies and the issues they face in proceeding to this Green economy transition are also crucial, so as to adapt competition law enforcement to the specific circumstances.
This may require close collaboration with other regulatory authorities and eventually a common ‘Advice Unit’ may be formed by experts from a variety of regulatory authorities, in order to provide informal consultation on proposed sustainability-related innovations.
This process may be facilitated with the development of a competition law sustainability ‘sandbox'in order, for the industry to experiment with new business formats that aim to realise more quickly and efficiently sustainability goals, and which involve cooperation between competing undertakings or even more permanent changes in market structure in order to be accomplished.
Another suggestion would be to issue general guidelines to clarify under which conditions the private sector may take cooperative action to promote the attainment of sustainability objectives, as already realised in certain countries. The HCC is currently envisaging the adoption of sustainability guidelines, following a process of public consultation with the industry and other stakeholders.
To launch a public consultation on all the above issues, HCC is organising a digital conference on “Sustainable development and competition law – Towards a Green Growth regulatory osmosis” with the participation of EU, OECD and other international organizations’ representatives, Heads of NCAs, judges, companies, representatives of economic and social entities and law firms.
 A sandbox is defined as ‘a safe space where both regulated and unregulated firms can experiment with innovative products, services, business models and delivery mechanisms without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of engaging in such activity’: Financial Conduct Authority, “Regulatory Sandbox”, (2015) Research Paper.
Watch the event: