chapter  12
14 Pages

The EU’s external competition policy

A hybrid approach
WithHikaru Yoshizawa

The EU’s initiative in the WTO to create international competition law proved unsuccessful soon after the commencement of the Doha Round negotiations in 2001. This experience led the EU to intensify its effort to explore multiple venues and legal frameworks in order to manage its external competition relations. It is in this context that this chapter illustrates the EU’s complex and evolving strategy and examines whether it is likely to continue. The chapter argues that the EU’s strategy for its external competition policy, which is mainly formulated by the European Commission, is not based on a single mode of governance. It is characterized by a ‘hybrid approach’ that combines hard law and soft law, multilateral and bilateral agreements, and comprehensive and competition-dedicated agreements. The EU is likely to continue this approach because the possibility of rule-making at the global level remains slim, and the various channels and means that are currently employed by the EU are largely complementary, albeit with some potential overlaps. Overall, a comprehension of the EU’s strategy for its external competition policy lays the foundations for research on the EU’s global role and its regulatory influence in this area.