The Causes and Consequences of the Collegial Implementation of European Competition Law



A major achievement of the new institutionalism is the formalisation of the idea that certain policies, such as competition law, are more efficient when administered by a politically independent organisation. Based on this insight, several practitioners and scholars criticise the European Community for relying too much on a multitask, collegial, and therefore politicised organisation, the European Commission. Defining collegiality as the involvement of non-expert commissioners in the implementation of the EC competition law, this article offers the first interdisciplinary analysis of the causes and consequences of that peculiar European institution. The central finding is that, far from being a mistake or the product of unanticipated consequences, collegiality was a necessary condition for the creation of supranational European law.