EU Program Alum Justinas Mickus '20, winner of the 2020 EU Program Best Senior Thesis Award, publishes article on European competition policy in the COVID-19 era with Sophie Meunier in the Journal of European Integration

Dec. 30, 2020

Congratulations to EU Program alum and 2020 Best Senior Thesis Award winner Justinas Mickus '20 for his first published academic article !

Sizing up the competition: explaining reform of European Union competition policy in the Covid-19 era

Journal of European Integration, 42(8), 1077-1094

Sophie Meunier and Justinas Mickus

Ensuring fair competition has long been a core pillar of the European Union (EU). In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the EU has diverted significantly from its traditional commitment to market-based competition, notably in state aid and foreign subsidies. This article explores change and continuity in post-Covid-19 European competition policy (ECP) by considering both the radicality and permanence of these changes. Using process-tracing based on primary documents, secondary materials, and personal interviews, this article examines recent shifts in EU competition policy, probing three causal factors: 1) digitization of the global economy; 2) geopoliticization of competition regulation; and 3) Brexit. We argue that the Covid-19 crisis has brought these pre-existing challenges to ECP to the fore and, thereby, created space for policy entrepreneurs in EU member state governments and institutions to push for greater promotion and protection of European industry in the internal market while reinforcing supranational competition enforcement.