The concept of sustainability in EU competition law: a legal realist perspective

Oles Andriychuk

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This article explores the role of sustainability in EU competition law from the perspective of the theory of legal realism. It addresses the issue by analysing three interrelated themes. It first outlines the main normative and methodological arguments of the protagonists and the opponents of a more societally engaged account of competition policy. Such an account pleads for a more permissive interpretation of competition rules. Secondly, it develops an account of competition law, basing on the premises of the legal realist tradition, adjusting legal realism to the needs and specificities of our field and our time, and submitting that this legal philosophical theory is well-suited for capturing the present discussion. Finally, it projects this jurisprudential theory of legal realism to an applied dimension, offering an outline of the central theoretical issue of a more societally inclusive EU competition policy: the issue of balancing incommensurable values.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages29
JournalYearbook of Antitrust and Regulatory Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Jun 2021


  • competition law
  • sustainable development
  • legal philosophy
  • EU law
  • legal realism


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