May 12, 2021

The president of the CNMC urges Congress to ask her opinion on the decree of European funds


The president of the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), Cani Fernández, has urged this Wednesday in Congress that the deputies ask the body for its opinion on the Royal Decree of European funds, taking advantage of the “opportunity” to which is being processed as a bill.

The president of the CNMC denounces a lack of autonomy and

The president of the CNMC denounces a lack of autonomy and “difficulties” in protecting whistleblowers and informants

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Fernández has confirmed that they were not asked to report on that decree, but “we are still on time.” “It would be a milestone” if the deputies “made use for the first time in history” of article 5.2 of the Law of Creation of the CNMC, which allows the Chambers to request reports on regulations in process.

In December, the Council of State issued a “favorable” opinion on the norm but expressed his “concern” before “the elimination or modulation of control mechanisms in matters as sensitive as administrative contracting, administrative agreements or subsidies” that includes the rule to speed up the distribution of European aid.

During his appearance at the Committee on Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation to expose the basic lines of his action and his plans and priorities for the future, Fernández did not want to comment on the controversial rescue of the airline Plus Ultra and recalled that the The authority that “has the competence” to “revoke” this aid is the European Commission.

It has indicated, with respect to European funds, that the organization is “extremely concerned” about the effects they may have in terms of a possible “distortion” of competition.

Fernández pointed out that the current “complex and unprecedented” economic situation offers “opportunities” and has defended that “well oiled”, the CNMC can be “decisive” for the recovery.

Y has once again claimed functional autonomy for the body in the budgetary, labor and organizational sphere. The authority, he said, does not have the resources to deploy the “ambitious” strategic plan that it has just presented, which plans to use European funds for some of its initiatives.

The president of the CNMC has insisted that she will “especially monitor the sectors where competition may be weakened by temporary or structural circumstances, as has happened during the current health crisis.” Especially in sectors “such as pharmaceuticals, insurance, finance or funeral homes where we are observing distortions of competition.”

He explained that in 2020, despite the context of the pandemic, the agency opened 12 disciplinary proceedings for conduct restrictive of competition, the highest number since 2014, and 70 concentration operations were notified. The entity challenged two regulations that restricted competition in the VTC sector.

Fernández has valued the work of the organization, whose electricity and gas circulars will promote a reduction in tolls and fees that will translate into savings that have amounted to between 500 and 700 million euros per year in the regulatory period 2021- 2026. To that figure will be added another 550 million euros of estimated savings in energy efficiency with the new electricity tariff system scheduled for June.

The president of the CNMC has opted for “strengthening ties with the judges” and developing “specific collaborative projects of mutual enrichment” with them. He has ensured that the body shares with the magistrates “a connection in the defense of competition.” “There is scope for the development of specific collaborative projects for mutual enrichment,” he said, after a recent report by the Court of Auditors put the amount in penalties appealed by the court pending resolution at more than 1,287 million. The last file annulled by the National High Court is the 29 million fine that it imposed on a cement cartel in 2016.

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