UCL Faculty of Laws


Conference - Sustainability and Competition Policy: Bridging two Worlds to Enable a Fairer Economy

24 October 2019, 8:30 am–6:30 pm


Event Information

Open to



Laws Events


JDE 52
Jacques Delors Building, European Committee of the Regions / European Economic and Social Committee
Rue Belliard 99/101

The  Center for Law, Economics and Society (CLES) at University College of London, jointly with the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the Fair Trade Advocacy Office, the Global competition law centre of the College of Europe, and with the support of the German Ministry for economic cooperation and development, will be organising a conference on Sustainability and Competition Law.

The conference will inquire into the connection between competition law and sustainability, in line with an overall examination of how to align EU policies with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to fight against increasing social disparities and improve the wellbeing of people while remaining within the environment limits of the planet.

European Commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager will deliver the keynote address, which will be followed by a debate revisiting the current controversies around the consumer welfare standard.

Professor Ioannis Lianos, President of the Hellenic Competition Commission and chair of competition law and public policy at UCL co-organised this event. He will also contribute to the event as a speaker and will chair one of the panels.


08:30 – 09:00: Registration

09:00 – 09:10: Welcome

  • Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee

09:10 – 09:25: Presentation of the Conference

  • Dario Soto Abril, CEO at Fairtrade International
  • Alec Burnside, Dechert LLP (counsel to the FTAO)

09:25 – 09:50: Keynote Speech

  • Margrethe Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition

09:50 – 11:05: Consumer Welfare under Pressure: Time for a Restatement?

  • Chair: Michael Weiner, Dechert LLP (counsel to the FTAO)
  • Jonathan Baker, American University
  • Cristina Caffarra, Charles River Associates
  • Lina Khan, U.S. House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law
  • Assimakis Komninos, GCLC/White & Case LLP

11:05 – 11:20: Coffee break

11:20 – 12:35: Antitrust Challenges to Lawfully Pursuing Sustainability Goals: the example of the cocoa supply chain and beyond

  • Chair: Alec Burnside, Dechert LLP (counsel to the FTAO)
  • Logan Breed (Hogan Lovells LLP), for the World Cocoa Foundation
  • Dirk Middelschulte, Unilever
  • Martin Oesch, Barry Callebaut
  • Christoph Leibenath, Nestlé

12:35 – 14:05: Lunch

14:05 – 15:15: Sustainability Goals: How to Factor them into Competition Assessments?

  • Chair: Simon Holmes, UK Competition Appeals Tribunal
  • Tembinkosi Bonakale, Competition Authority of South Africa
  • Maria Jaspers, DG COMP
  • Felix Engelsing, Competition Authority of Germany (BkartA)
  • Martijn Snoep, Competition Authority of The Netherlands (ACM)

15:15 – 15:30: Coffee break

15:30 – 16:40: Allowing for an Antitrust Exemption for Sustainability: a (False) Good Idea?

  • Chair: Ioannis Lianos, Hellenic Competition Authority/UCLondon
  • Kevin Coates, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Anna Gerbrandy, University of Utrecht
  • Maarten Pieter Schinkel, University of Amsterdam
  • Ben Smulders, Head of cabinet of EU Commissioner Timmermans

16:40 – 17:50 The Way Forward: How Can Competition Policy Enable Rather Than Obstruct Sustainability?

  • Chair: Damien Gerard, GCLC/University of Louvain
  • Suzanne Kingston, University College Dublin 
  • Ioannis Lianos, Hellenic Competition Authority/UCLondon
  • Damien Neven, Graduate Institute Geneva
  • Geert Van Calster, University of Leuven
Closing remarks

17:50 – 18:00: Arnoldas Abramavičius, First Vice-President, European Committee of the Regions Commission for Economic Policy

18:00 – 18:05: Sergi Corbalán, Executive Director of the FTAO




Please send queries to the ECON secretariat at econ@cor.europa.eu

The registrations are closed but if you wish you may still register on our waiting list using the link below:

Register on our waiting list