Martin Mäesalu and Miikael Tuus: Transposing the ECN+ Directive into Estonian Law Through Misdemeanour Proceedings
Ellex Partner Martin Mäesalu and Lawyer Miikael Tuus write in their recent article published in Juridica, that the ECN+ Directive could be transposed into Estonian law through the misdemeanour procedure.
According to the authors, there are no serious obstacles to this. While some amendments to laws on misdemeanours would be needed, including after the changes that entered into force on 1 November 2023, they would be significantly simpler and more practical than the creation of a competition supervision procedure, including the amendment of the existing draft law to the extent necessary to remove its shortcomings and unconstitutionalities. The reform of misdemeanour law has performed a significant amount of the groundwork for the transposition of the ECN+ Directive, and only minor further changes would be needed.
The creation of a sector-specific special administrative procedure for competition law also lacks in value added: the procedural regime to be established will not provide any particular support for future legislative work – for the development of other sector-specific special administrative procedures or, as in the case of Finland, the development of a procedural code for administrative fines. In addition, the reform of the misdemeanour law, which recently entered into force, made this exercise unreasonable.
The authors hope that the creation of administrative fine procedures, both in the area of competition supervision and in other areas, will be abandoned and that the Estonian Competition Authority will in the future enforce Articles 101 and 102 of the TFEU through misdemeanour proceedings. According to § 12 of the latest version of the draft law, it would enter into force on 1 June 2024. In such a timeframe, it is in fact possible to make misdemeanour law compliant with the ECN+ Directive and harmonise Estonian law with the directive through misdemeanour proceedings.
The full article is available in Juridica.