What's New

 

The Network was announced at the Asia Pacific Seminar on Competition Policy held at New Delhi on 26th November, where many civil society organizations evinced positive interest. It was formally launched on February 20th, 2003 during its first general body meeting held in Geneva following the CUTS Symposium on Competition Policy & Pro-poor Development.

 
INITIATIVES

Campaign on World Competition Day

   
EVENT

Partners Meeting
Dakar, August 08, 2010

   
DISCUSSION PAPER

Better Cartel Deterrence Through International Solidarity

(In English)

(In French)

(In spanish)
BRIEFING

Consumers Demand Action Against Abusive Monopolies

     

(In English)

(In French)
CALL FOR PAPERS

Strengthening the Consumer Protection Regimes

     
 
BACKGROUND 

The International Network of Civil Society Organisations on Competition (INCSOC) has been floated by several civil society organisations as a coalition to promote a healthy competition culture in the world.

The concept came out of the extensive work on competition policy issues by Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), which floated the idea as a result of a path-breaking project on comparison of competition regimes in developing countries (popularly called the 7-Up Project).

It revealed a crying need for building a network of stakeholders, especially civil society, so that the competition regimes at the national level could be strengthened, and developed where absent.

As businesses and their anti-competitive practices have become global in nature, the need for consumer-oriented competition advocacy at the global level cannot be understated.

Competition enforcement agencies of different countries of the world have responded to such a situation through the formation of International Competition Network (ICN). Similarly, the Global Competition Forum (GCF) of competition lawyers has been created under the auspices of the International Bar Association. The OECD has floated a Global Forum on Competition, which organizes annual meetings of competition authorities, while Members of the WTO are also considering a multilateral agreement on competition.

To complement such initiatives and enhance peoples' participation, it is essential to establish a similar network at the civil society level, whose voice on the global stage is not as strong as is desirable. Thus, the network is named as, “International Network of Civil Society Organisations on Competition” (INCSOC).

The first general body meeting of the Network was held on February 20, 2003. Over 35 organizations that attended the meeting at Geneva, expressed a strong support for such a network. These organizations came from diverse countries such as Zambia, Bangladesh and Nepal from the LDC category; India, Argentina and Brazil from the developing category, and UK and USA from the developed category of nations.

The key point of agreement was that research organizations and advocacy groups need to work more closely together, in enriching their competition advocacy work, which emerged as a critical learning from the 7-Up project process. This is important since effective advocacy calls for a solid research base to enable advocacy groups to convince citizens and politicians that a competition culture is good for the citizens, particularly the poor.

The network intends to put civil society on the map of competition policy discussions at the international and domestic arena. One of the first major projects will be to prepare a World Competition Report by 2005.

MISSION

The Mission of the network is “to promote and maintain a healthy competition culture around the world by coalition building among civil society and other interested organisations”. This will be achieved by pursuing the following objectives:

  • To build coalitions of civil society organizations interested in promoting a healthy competition culture;

  • To build capacity of the CSOs on competition policy issues to enable them to engage in competition advocacy at different levels

  • To catalyse research and networking on competition issues and create better understanding on them.

  • To liaise with all relevant institutions for sharing of experiences and promoting mutual learning on competition issues.

ACTIVITIES

The activities of the network revolve around the objectives of coalition building, networking and capacity building on competition issues, primarily of the civil society organizations, but secondarily of other stakeholder groups. This will be achieved through sharing of experiences and information dissemination projects. The network will work mainly through working groups. 

Conceived as a virtual network, The Network works through Working Groups of which two co-chair persons were elected at Geneva on 20th February, 2003 to coordinate the work of three groups: capacity building, advocacy and the preparation of a World Competition Report by 2005.

The network maintains close contact with the ICN, GCF (IBA), UNCTAD, OECD, WTO, World Bank and other such bodies.

CUTS International, based at Jaipur is the temporary secretariat for hosting the virtual communication hub.

MEMBERSHIP

The Network has two types of membership:

  • The primary institutional members consisting of public interest civil society, consumer organizations, research and academic institutions, and their networks working/interested in the area of competition policy, to be designated as 'Primary Members'.

  • Competition enforcement agencies of national governments or supranational agencies and intergovernmental bodies and regional bodies, and donor agencies are eligible as 'Associate Members' of the Network.

The primary institutional members consisting of public interest civil society, consumer organizations, research and academic institutions, and their networks working/interested in the area of competition policy, to be designated as 'Primary Members'.

Competition enforcement agencies of national governments or supranational agencies and intergovernmental bodies and regional bodies, and donor agencies are eligible as 'Associate Members' of the Network.

A provision for individual membership, which could include academicians, lawyers, parliamentarians, media persons, and other stakeholder groups with interest in competition issues has also been made. They will be designated as Associate Members.

While the INCSOC's voting membership  comprises mainly of the Primary Members, the Associate Members are invited to join and participate in the Working Groups.

The network presently consists of 129 members representing various civil society organisations, research institutes and parliamentarians from 61 countries.

There is no formal membership application, but merely an intent can be sent to incsoc@incsoc.net and their names will be entered in the two rosters (Primary Members and Associate Members) to be maintained at CUTS International.

STEERING COMMITTEE

Allan Asher, Australia and Pradeep S Mehta of CUTS International, India are the first chairpersons of the Steering Committee of 24 members drawn from research and advocacy CSOs in the South and North to manage the work of INCSOC. Members of the Steering Committee:

For further details please contact:
Allan Asher, 61-4083 75642
, allan.asher@ombudsman.gov.au 
Pradeep S. Mehta, 91-98
290 13131, c-cier@cuts.org

 

Site Last Updated on : September 11, 2013