European Competition Network (ECN)


The European Competition Network (ECN) was established as a discussion and co-operation forum among the European competition authorities for proper application of Articles 101 (previous Article 81 TEC) and 102 (previous Article 82 TEC) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It ensures efficient distribution of work and effective and proper application of EC competition rules. The European Commission and the competition authorities of the member states cooperate in the ECN through:

  • mutual exchange of information about new cases and decisions;
  • coordination of investigations and dawn raids;
  • mutual help in investigations and dawn raids;
  • interchange of evidence and other information;
  • discussion on issues of common interest.

The aim of the ECN is to build a strong legal framework for enforcement of EC competition law against companies which violate competition rules and the activities of which are in conflict with the consumers’ interests.

The bases of the ECN operation are stated in the Commission Notice on co-operation within the Network of Competition Authorities and Joint Statement by the Council and Commission on the function of the Network of Competition Authorities.


ECN Working groups, Sectoral subgroups and RFIs


Within the ECN network, there exist many working groups focused on partial aspects of the EU competition law and policy, which are actively attended by the Office´s representatives responsible for particular sectors or issues discussed at the groups´ meetings. The most active working groups deal with cartels, mergers or international cooperation between competition authorities (Working Group on Cooperation Issues and Due Process). The latter working group is currently dealing with the transposition issues of a Directive (EU) 2019/1 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018, to empower the competition authorities of the Member States of the EU to be more effective enforcers and to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market. This so called ECN+ Directive has a significant impact, inter alia, on cooperation between various competition authorities from the EU Member States. It was adopted at the end of 2018 and published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 14 January 2019.

At the same time, the ECN platform is useful for direct communication and cooperation between the competition authorities of the EU Member States. The most common mean of cooperation represents an exchange of non-confidential information, which is carried out in the form of so-called Requests for Information (RFI’s).

Another integral part of the cooperation between competition authorities associated in the ECN platform are so-called Requests for assistance in investigations pursuant to Article 22 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty. Such requests may be used by competition authorities in cases when they need to obtain more information for initiation of proceedings with a particular undertaking or to add relevant evidence to the file in the context of an infringement of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU.

cs | en
+420 542 167 111 ·