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On 22 February, a MEP briefing on “Competition law & sustainability: a broken link? Cases from the Netherlands and Germany” was hosted by Ernest Urtasun MEP and Sven Giegold MEP in the European Parliament in collaboration with the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO).

Behind the backdrop of EU Competition Commissioner M. Vestager making soon the EC decision on the Bayer-Monsanto merger public – which could be a potential obstacle in achieving the EU sustainable development-, two experts shared conclusions from recent developments in the Netherlands (Chicken of tomorrow case) and Germany (recommendations against market concentration).

After a warm welcome by Ernest Urtasun MEP and a brief introduction from Fair Trade Advocacy Office Executive Director Sergi Corbalan, Franziska Humbert (Oxfam Germany) took the stage to share conclusions on the “Legal Evaluation of issues of antitrust law relative to market concentrations specifically in the sectors of agriculture and retail food” (summary; German version). Dr Humbert’s presentation highlighted the need of power to be curbed. The second expert, Irina Toma (EPM Sustainability) presented her paper “Are Sector-wide Minimum Sustainability Agreements Possible? The Dutch Competition Law Debate and the Chicken of Tomorrow” (summary) commissioned by FTAO as update to her 2016 overview paper on the collaboration for sustainability in the Netherlands.

The two expert presentations were followed by an active and highly informative Q&A session, which provided the audience with a better understanding on why, on the issue of Competition Law and Sustainability, environmental and social costs are equally important to price costs and how a holistic approach makes complete economic sense. The MEP Briefing was concluded with closing remarks, as well as next step proposals by MEP Sven Giegold.

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Introduction to the WHO’S GOT THE POWER? report by Sergi Corbalán

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 You can watch this video by clicking here.