Training of national judges in EU competition law and judicial cooperation between national competition law judges


Programme Category

EU Competitive Programmes

Programme Name

Single Market Programme (SMP) (2021-2027)

Programme Description

The Single Market Programme (SMP) covers the single market, competitiveness of enterprises, including small and medium-sized enterprises, the area of plants, animals, food and feed, and European statistics. Specifically, the programme brings together aspects in order to streamline, exploit synergies and provide a better flexible, transparent, simplified and agile framework to finance activities aiming at a well-functioning sustainable internal market.

Programme Details

Identifier Code



Training of national judges in EU competition law and judicial cooperation between national competition law judges


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.

Detailed Call Description

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 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 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.

Priority 1: Training on the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU and relevant secondary law. Applicants are invited to choose at least 3 out of the 6 topics listed below:

a) Scope of application of Article 101 (concept of undertaking, concept of agreement and concerted practice);
b) Restrictions by object and effect under Article 101;
c) Concept of dominance under Article 102;
d) Exclusionary and exploitative abuses under Article 102;
e) Concept of effect on trade between Member States;
f) The Block exemptions for vertical agreements, production and specialisation agreements4, R&D agreements5 and technology transfer agreements6, including related guidelines.

Priority 2: Training activities 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:

a) The disclosure of evidence in proceedings relating to an action for damages;

b) 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;

c) 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;

d) The interaction between the public and the private enforcement of competition law, focusing on both the positive interaction (how can claimants benefit from enforcement action by competition authorities) and measures to avoid negative interactions (for example limits on the disclosure of evidence and on the joint and several liability);

e) 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 3: Training activities focusing on underlying economic principles of competition law. Applicants are invited to choose at least one topic:

a) Economic principles and economic reasoning (e.g., supply and demand, cost analysis, substitution and strategic interactions in different competition environments, market definitions, horizontal and vertically related markets, market power);

b) Assessment of economic evidence/studies in litigation and its procedural handling, including a review of currently used estimation methods (qualitative and quantitative), underlining advantages and limits of them, as well as the importance of consistency, robustness and duplicability of results.

Priority 4: Training activities focusing on the application of competition law in regulated industries (such as the energy, telecommunications or pharmaceutical sector).  Applicants are invited to choose at least one topic:

a) Scope of application of competition law in regulated sectors;

b) Concepts of an undertaking and of an association of undertakings applied to public bodies (i.e. public bodies as undertakings vs public bodies as regulatory bodies).

Priority 5: Training activities focusing on how to apply the traditional competition law concepts in Articles 101 and 102 to digital markets. Applicants are invited to choose
at least 1 out of the 3 topics listed below:

a) Market definition in digital markets (including two or multisided markets, zero price markets);

b) Assessment of market power and dominance in digital markets (including direct and indirect network effects, dynamic efficiencies, importance of access to data, single- and multi-homing);

c) Recent case law and decisional practice regarding digital markets and more generally potential theories of harm including new forms of collusion (use of algorithms), refusal to provide access to infrastructure (big data).

Priority 6: Training on State Aid, in light of State Aid Modernisation and the enforcement role of national courts. Applicants are invited to choose at least 2 out of the 4 topics listed below:

a) Notion of aid (including the method of financing of the aid through parafiscal levies and the Services of General Economic interest);

b) The regulations adopted in the framework of the State aid modernization exercise, i.e. mainly the De minimis Regulation and the General Block Exemption Regulation;

c) 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). Particular attention should be paid to the use of cooperation tools available to national courts;

d) The request for provisional measures brought before the courts and its interaction with the EU Court proceedings.

Call Total Budget

€1 000 000

Financing percentage by EU or other bodies / Level of Subsidy or Loan

Project budgets (maximum grant amount) are expected to range between EUR 50 000 and EUR 300 000 per project. The costs will be reimbursed at the funding rate fixed in the Grant Agreement (90%).

Thematic Categories

  • Education and training
  • Justice - Security
  • Public Administration

Eligibility for Participation

  • Associations
  • Central Government
  • Educational Institutions
  • International Organisations
  • Large Enterprises
  • Legal Entities
  • NGOs
  • Non Profit Organisations
  • Researchers/Research Centers/Institutions
  • Services Providers
  • Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
  • State-owned Enterprises

Call Opening Date


Call Closing Date


National Contact Point(s)

Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry
Industry and Technology Service
1421, Nicosia, Cyprus

Contact Person:
Spyros Triantaphyllidis
Telephone: 22867333

EU Contact Point

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