© 2016

Competition Policy Enforcement in EU Member States

What is Independence for?


Part of the European Administrative Governance book series

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Mattia Guidi
    Pages 1-12
  3. Mattia Guidi
    Pages 13-48
  4. Mattia Guidi
    Pages 167-173
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 175-186

About this book


This book investigates the crucial EU policy of competition, which is enforced by the Commission and by national agencies that enjoy various degrees of autonomy from their governments. More and more policy-making activities are nowadays delegated to agencies that cannot be held accountable to parliaments, and ultimately to voters. The author explains why this is the case in the field of EU competition policy and discusses whether independence is linked to improved enforcement – as theories of delegation and common wisdom would suggest. These questions are explored with an in-depth analysis covering 27 EU countries for 17 years (1993–2009). While the results show that independence is given when countries lack credibility and good reputation, they also point out that autonomy from governments can hardly be associated with improved regulatory output. So, is independence of competition authorities useful to society in the end? This book will appeal to upper-level students and scholars interested in competition policy, regulatory agencies, and European public policy. 


agencies regulation autonomy European public policy European independence policy-makers accountability business politics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (LUISS) Guido Carli UniversityRomaItaly

About the authors

Mattia Guidi is Post-Doctoral Fellow at LUISS Guido Carli in Rome, Italy, where he teaches International Public Policies. He holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute. His research focuses on delegation and institutions, including independent regulatory agencies, EU competition policy and EU public policies in general. 

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


“Why and how do experts at arm’s length from politicians make policies? And should they? Mattia Guidi’s stimulating book raises the question of why politicians delegate the management of crucial policies to independent agencies – in particular in the field of competition enforcement. The book’s answers will not only appeal to experts of EU competition policy, but also to scholars investigating the increasing delegation of policy-making powers to experts in all national political systems.” (Professor Sergio Fabbrini, LUISS School of Government, Italy)

“The ‘must-read’ book on competition policy enforcement in the EU’s member-states. Clear and accessible, using a mix of quantitative and qualitative analysis, the book makes an original argument about the trade-offs between regulatory independence and accountability, with the unexpected finding that countries with mixed varieties of capitalism are most favorable to independence.” (Professor Vivien A. Schmidt, Boston University , USA)

“Competition authorities constitute a key instrument to discipline market actors, contributing to make regulatory capitalism work. How the institutional design of these authorities has evolved in recent decades in the European Union, particularly at the national level, is what Mattia Guidi explains in this excellent book, in a very precise and sophisticated way.  From his research, we learn about the intricacies of national competition authorities, about variations in their political independence and enforcement performance, as well as the challenges they face in an integrated Europe.” (Professor Jacint Jordana, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain)