Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Press Release – Creation of the Sandbox for sustainable development and competition

Subject: Creation of the Sandbox for sustainable development and competition

The Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) presents the Sandbox for Sustainable Development and Competition, an innovative initiative to strengthen competition and sustainable development.

The adoption of the sandbox follows the various initiatives at national and European level as early as 2020 in relation to the integration into competition law of the goal of sustainable development (see Competition Law & Sustainability, as well as the public consultation regarding the “sandbox for sustainability and competition” launched in 2021).

The sandbox creates a supervised space for experimentation to promote innovative business initiatives. Through the sandbox it is possible to fully and ex ante evaluate commercial practices by the HCC (even before the implementation of the project) in order to enhance legal certainty for companies, thus reducing the regulatory risk for "green" investments according to wider public interest objective for sustainable development and in conformity with competition law principles. At the same time, the operation of the sandbox enhances competition compliance with and acts as a deterrent to "green-washing" phenomena in the Greek economy.

The purpose of the operation of the sandbox is for the industry and especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to experiment with new business forms that aim at the faster and more efficient realization of the goals of sustainable development, always in compatibility with competition law. The importance of sustainability goals is now recognized by Article 37A of Law 3959/2011 on Free Competition, as amended in January 2022, which provides the possibility of adopting a no-action enforcement letter by the President of the HCC following a Report by the Directorate-General for Competition, in case a coordinated conduct or practice, after analyzing its effects on competition, contributes significantly to sustainable development and the public interest.

Through these initiatives, the HCC contributes in practice and substantially to the national and European strategy for the Green economy transition.

With the operation of the sandbox, the HCC launches a new era in its operation as the custodian of free competition in the Greek market, not only through the repressive application of the law on competition, but also through a consultative route for the proactive promotion of competition at the inception of business projects.

This new HCC initiative will enable the development of the Green Economy, based on stable and competitive principles, thus ensuring the long-term goals of competition and sustainable development for the benefit of consumers and citizens.

You can visit the sandbox for sustainable development and competition at the following link.

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