Competition Law’s Sustainability Gap? Tools For an Examination and a Brief Overview

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Julian Nowag


The aim of this paper is two-fold. First, the paper aims to provide tools for a structured examination of competition law’s perceived inability to address sustainability. The EU framework is chosen as a case study since EU competition law is embedded in the EU’s constitutional framework. As a result, EU competition law is subject to the requirement of Article 11 TFEU and 39 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Article 11 mandates that ‘environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of the Union's policies and activities, in particular with a view to promoting sustainable development.’ The paper provides tools for a closer examination of this required integration. The second aim of this paper is modest. It aims to provide the reader with a brief overview of the perceived gap. While some gaps remain, the paper shows that EU competition law has developed tools that can be used to foster sustainability in a competition law context. As these tools are often not EU specific they could equally inspire other jurisdictions.

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Special secton on Law and Sustainability