Renewal of the Belgian Competition Authority’s Prosecutor General and assessors
16/02/2022

The Belgian Competition Authority comprises of the Investigation and Prosecution Service, in charge of cases settled and simplified merger control decisions, and the Competition College, a decision-making body for all infringement cases, that are not settled or closed by the Investigation and Prosecution Service, as well as all non-simplified merger control procedures.

The Managing Board of the Belgian Competition Authority is composed of the President, the Competition Prosecutor General, the General Counsel and the Chief Economist.

As the mandates for the President and Competition Prosecutor General were coming to an end in 2019, selection procedures were organized in 2018. After many twists and turns in the selection procedure, the new Competition General Prosecutor, Damien Gérard has recently been formally appointed and took office on 1 December 2021. This follows the recent entry into office of Chief Economist Griet Jans.

The renewal of these two fundamental positions within the investigation and prosecution service will certainly breathe new life into the Authority as this service plays an essential part in the handling of complaints, the management of investigations, the organisation of dawn raids, the preparation of draft decisions that are submitted to the Competition Council and the handling of simplified merger control procedures.

Furthermore, the Authority was granted additional financial resources that will permit the recruitment of additional staff for this investigation and prosecution service.

In February 2022, the new assessors who assist the President at the Competition College have been designated. Of the 16 assessors, forming 2 linguistic groups, 7 have been reappointed, and so 9 assessors are newly appointed to the role.

The new President of the Authority has not yet been formally appointed.

The newly appointed Competition Prosecutor General, Damien Gérard, has already disclosed his ambitions for the Authority. Let’s wait and see if those ambitions materialize. For instance, the announcement that dawn raids should resume as from March 2022.

 

 

Annabelle Lepièce - Partner, Brussels

 

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