Public consultation: Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority to help Commission tackle foreign subsidies distorting competition
In the future, the European Commission will have extensive powers to investigate the effects of subsidies from non-EU countries affecting the internal market. The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) would conduct inspections at the request of the Commission, assist it in the inspections and act as the national contact point for requests for information. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland will organise a consultation on the proposal to amend the Act on the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. Comments can be submitted by 5 June 2023.
The proposed legislative amendments are based on the EU’s new regulation on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market. The regulation empowers the European Commission to investigate financial contributions granted by authorities of non-EU countries that benefit companies engaged in an economic activity in the Union. The aim is to ensure a level playing field for companies in the internal market.
Most provisions of the EU regulation do not require national legislation. National legislation supplementing the EU regulation would define the national authority that assists the Commission in inspections in Finland and conducts inspections at its request. The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland proposes this task for the FCCA.
The Ministry also proposes that the FCCA act as the national contact point in situations where the Commission is not aware of which Finnish authority or contracting entity the request for information should be addressed to. Notwithstanding secrecy provisions, the FCCA would receive information from other national authorities and contracting entities in accordance with the regulation, which it would subsequently forward to the Commission.
Comments on the Government’s draft proposal can be submitted by 5 June 2023. The bill is due to be submitted to Parliament in the autumn and the act would enter into force as soon as possible. The rules on inspections would apply from 12 January 2024.
Virve Haapajärvi, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 027
Olli Hyvärinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 026