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The Netherlands wants stricter EU rules against unfair competition

The Netherlands believes that the European Union must act harder against unfair competition from state-supported companies from non-EU countries. The Netherlands has made proposals to the EU countries to set stricter rules. That should start in the coming year.

According to State Secretary Monica Keijzer (Economic Affairs), more and more foreign companies are enjoying unfair competitive advantages, for example through government support from their government. This support can consist of knowledge or money, but also the supply of cheap raw materials or semi-finished products. This puts European companies at a disadvantage, argues the Dutch minister. The Hague has therefore proposed extensive and stricter competition monitoring to the European Commission in order to be able to investigate in advance and enforce more effectively.

Companies from third countries that unfairly compete with Dutch and other EU entrepreneurs thanks to state aid and unregulated profits are an increasing problem. State Secretary Mona Keijzer (Economic Affairs and Climate) has sent a letter about this so-called level playing field instrument to the Lower House.

State Secretary Mona Keijzer (EZK): “We would like to continue to do business with countries outside the EU. As a trading nation, this has always provided the Netherlands with an economic advantage. But that market must be fair and not disturbed by companies that enjoy improper competitive advantages thanks to their home situation. ”

This is also the case if these companies have an unregulated dominant position in their home market that is at odds with other companies within the EU. If the company suspects that such behavior is being supported by government support, the Netherlands proposes that the European Commission can initiate an investigation.

If the investigation shows that such a non-EU company does not comply with the rules, the European Commission can take enforcement action by imposing a fine or import ban.

The Netherlands wants the European Commission to include Dutch ideas when it comes up with proposals in the first half of 2020 to tackle these behaviors. Discussions on this have already been held with the Commission and other Member States.

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