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Call key data
Training of national judges in EU competition law and judicial cooperation between national competition law judges
Single Market Programme
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 50,000.00 and € 300,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
The objective of this call for proposals is to co-finance projects aiming to train national judges in the context of enforcing European competition rules. This includes public and private enforcement of both the Antitrust rules and the State aid rules, thereby increasing the knowledge and know-how of national judges. The final aim is to ensure a coherent and consistent application of EU competition law by national courts. These objectives can best be achieved through projects which specifically focus on the role of national judges in the application of EU competition law, their particular needs and work environments and pre-existing training and knowledge.
Projects must meet the above-mentioned objective and clearly demonstrate their EU added-value, i.e. that Union intervention in the form of funding through this grant programme can bring additional value compared to the action of Member States alone.
The target audience must consist of national judges from eligible countries dealing with competition cases, as defined in the section Objectives. This also includes prosecutors, apprentice national judges, and the staff of national courts.
The target audience as defined above is hereafter referred to as 'national judges'. Training projects not addressing national judges from an eligible country as defined in section 6 are not within the scope of the present call.
Projects should address at least one of the thematic priorities listed below but may address more than one. Under each priority listed below applicants are invited to choose a number of topics at least equal to a certain minimum.
Priority 1: Trainings on the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU and relevant secondary law.
Applicants are invited to choose at least 3 out of the 7 topics listed below:
- Scope of application of Article 101 (concept of undertaking, concept of agreement and concerted practice);
- Restrictions of competition by object and effect under Article 101;
- Concept of dominance (including market definition and market power analysis) under Article 102;
- Exclusionary and exploitative abuses under Article 102;
- Concept of effect on trade between Member States;
- Block exemption and guidelines for vertical agreements;
- Block exemptions and guidelines for horizontal cooperation agreements (including sustainability agreements).
Priority 2: Trainings focusing on procedural safeguards and the effective enforcement of EU competition law.
Applicants are invited to choose at least 2 out of the 4 topics listed below:
- Enforcement powers of national competition authorities (Articles 5, 22 Regulation 1/2003, Articles 6–23 ECN+ Directive)
- Cooperation and mutual assistance between the Commission and national competition authorities (Articles 11, 12, 13, 22 Regulation 1/2003; Articles 24– 29 ECN+ Directive);
- Cooperation between the Commission and the national courts in Member States (Articles 6, 15 and 16 of Regulation 1/2003);
- Procedural standards and fundamental right safeguards in competition law proceedings (Article 2 Regulation 1/2003, Articles 3, 6–12 ECN+ Directive and relevant case law by the EU Courts and the ECtHR).
Priority 3: Trainings focusing on national laws implementing Directive 2014/104 on antitrust damages actions.
Applicants are invited to choose at least 2 out of the 5 topics listed below:
- The disclosure of evidence in proceedings relating to an action for damages;
- The passing on of overcharges and the interplay between damages actions relating to the same infringement but instituted by injured parties on different levels of the supply chain;
- The quantification of antitrust harm in the framework of damages actions, including the application of the methods for quantification identified in the Commission's Practical Guide on the Quantification of Antitrust Harm;
- The interaction between the public and the private enforcement of competition law, focusing on both the positive interaction (how can claimants and judges benefit from enforcement actions by competition authorities and can consult them) and measures to avoid negative interactions (for example limits on the disclosure of evidence and on joint and several liability that flow from the Damages Directive);
- Case management and best practices in dealing with questions of jurisdiction and applicable law and in dealing with the situation of parallel or subsequent proceedings in different Member States.
Priority 4: Trainings focusing on underlying economic principles of competition law.
Applicants are invited to choose at least one topic:
- Economic principles and economic reasoning (e.g., supply and demand, cost analysis, substitution and strategic interactions in different competition environments, market definition, horizontal and vertically related markets, market power);
- Assessment of economic evidence in antitrust cases (including market definition, market shares, cost measures and price-cost tests in exclusionary and exploitative abuse cases);
- Assessment of economic evidence/studies in antitrust damages litigation and its procedural handling, including a review of currently used estimation methods (qualitative and quantitative), their underlying advantages and limits, as well as the importance of consistency, robustness and replicability of results.
Priority 5: Trainings focusing on the application of competition law in regulated industries (such as the energy, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, sectors) and digital markets.
Applicants are invited to choose at least one topic:
- Scope of application of competition law in regulated sectors and interplay between competition law and sector-specific regulation, such as the Digital Markets Act (DMA);
- Interplay between IP rights and competition law;
- Market definition in regulated and digital industries (including two or multisided markets, zero price markets);
- Assessment of market power and dominance in regulated industries and digital markets (including regulatory entry barriers, intellectual property rights, direct and indirect network effects, dynamic efficiencies, importance of access to data, single- and multi-homing);
- Recent case law and decisional practice regarding regulated industries and digital markets.
Priority 6: Training on State Aid and the enforcement role of national courts.
Applicants must include the third topic and choose at least 1 additional topic listed below (minimum number of topics under this priority is 2):
- Notion of aid (including the rules on Services of General Economic interest
- The regulations establishing exemptions from the obligation to notify State aid measures to the Commission, i.e. mainly the De minimis Regulation and the General Block Exemption Regulation, including its 2023 revision to further facilitate and speed up the green and digital transition;
- The role of national courts in implementing State aid law (based on the notice on the enforcement of State aid law by national courts and on the Recovery notice, as well as practical experiences from national jurisdictions). Particular attention should be paid to the use of cooperation tools available to national courts;
- Main aspects of EU procedural rules (such as notification process before the European Commission) and principles on compatibility of State aid.
Expected effects and impacts
Projects funded under the present call should contribute to the following impacts:
- Improved coherent and consistent application of EU competition laws by national courts in the member states, including State Aid rules through the number of national judges with increased knowledge and know-how.
- Strengthened cooperation and networking possibilities among member states judges reached by the training and awareness raising activities in relation to commonly applicable EU competition laws. Enabling national judges to strive for a coherent jurisprudence when confronted with developments at the interface between competition law and new legal or economic developments.
Projects must include tailored training activities on EU competition law such as:
- interactive, practice-oriented seminars and workshops;
- joint study visits to EU courts;
- creation of training materials and tools for face-to-face training, blended learning or e-learning such as handbooks, manuals, case-law databases, train-the-trainer events, networking platforms, videos, podcasts, etc. in combination with the organisation of training activities listed above.
Trainings should be hands-on oriented, include case studies, refer to the relevant case law of the European Court of Justice and include an analysis of relevant EU jurisprudence.
The environment in which participative training for national judges takes place must be made sufficiently secure to enable participants to freely exchange views and experiences and to learn from one another, without external monitoring or interference. Projects are therefore at best exclusively addressed to national judges.
Regions / countries for funding
Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Liechtenstein, Montenegro (Црна Гора), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge)
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University
In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:
- be legal entities (public or private bodies)
- be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
- EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
- non-EU countries:
- listed EEA countries and countries associated to the Single Market Programme or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature (list of participating countries)
- for private bodies: be non-profit making entities
Natural persons — Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of selfemployed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).
International organisations — International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.
Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons.
EU bodies — EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.
Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’ . Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible).
Countries currently negotiating association agreements — Beneficiaries from countries with ongoing negotiations (see above) may participate in the call and can sign grants if the negotiations are concluded before grant signature (with retroactive effect, if provided in the agreement).
other eligibility criteria
Financial support to third parties is not allowed.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System (accessible via the Topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals (including annexes and supporting documents) must be submitted using the forms provided inside the Submission System ( NOT the documents available on the Topic page — they are only for information).
Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:
- Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
- Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
- mandatory annexes and supporting documents (templates available to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed, assembled and
- detailed budget table
- CVs (standard of core project team)
- list of previous projects (key projects for the last 4 years) (template available in Part B)
- activity reports of last year
Your application must be readable, accessible and printable. Proposals are limited to maximum 70 pages (Part B). Evaluators will not consider any additional pages.