Official title of the project

Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) in Republic of Serbia

Project information

Subtitle
EU support to strengthening competition in Serbia (EU – SCS)
Region / City
Total budget of programme / project

2.656.090,00

Implementation period
2012. Sep - 2015. Sep
Expected results

Result 1: CPC expert service and the CPC Council acquired expertise, ability and capacity for conducting proper investigations during dawn raids, while Administrative judges became knowledgeable on the value of direct and circumstantial evidence in competition law cases and   undertakings became fully aware of negative effects of cartel agreements.  

Result 2: Sophisticated econometric methods in market analysis introduced during investigations and in support of CPC decisions with full understanding of economic concepts expressed in the judgments of the Court when deciding on the merits of the case; regulators acquired knowledge on economic assessment of mergers in regulated and network industries

Result 3:  Case handlers trained on early discovery of secret cartel agreements and parallel behaviors, for complex merger analysis and enforcement of issued merger conditions with officers in the Public Procurement Office trained on discovery of collusive tendering.

Result 4:  The market participants and regulators in Republic of Serbia acquired general knowledge in practice of the EU Commission, European Court Justice and Court of First Instance, as adopted in the EU Commission decisions and judgments on competition law.

Result 5: Developed and implemented forensic software

Result 6:  Database containing the set of documents, i.e. requests of the parties, decisions and opinions of the CPC since its establishment

Beneficiary

Competition Protection Commission

Partners

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

(GIZ GmbH is the leader of consortium which includes Eurecna S.p.A. as a junior partner

Target Groups

Primarily: CPC case handlers and decision makers

Secondary: judges of the Administrative Court, lawyers, business circles through the Chamber of Commerce & Industries, sector regulators and the Public Procurement Office, Ministry in&

Summary of the project

The decades of planned economy left a long lasting mark on the behaviour of many market participants that see no problem with many kinds of restrictive actions, such as agreements on prices, market sharing, exchange of business plans, etc. On the other hand, most “winners” of the transition in Serbia prefer laissez-faire capitalism with its unrestricted opportunities for abuses of achieved market positions. On its side, the legislative and regulatory authorities are insufficiently aware of the basic competition protection political and legal terms whereas the general public lacks entrepreneurial spirit, and is prejudicial toward (alleged) monopolies and successful market players. Finally, the Competition Protection Commission, a public body which is primarily responsible to tackle the aforesaid problems by its punitive but also preventive measures, has for long acted in a very hesitant manner, probably to avoid exposure and controversies

The Competition Law of 2009 required organisational adjustments. Of crucial importance is the establishment of the Economic Analysis and Legal Affairs divisions as units advising the line units (mergers, abuse of dominance, etc.). However, the latter units remain understaffed and both quantitative and qualitative strengthening of their capacity is necessary to increase the effectiveness and the efficiency of the line units in providing professional advice. In this regard, improvement of capacity to carry-out sector analyses using proper econometric methods is a key issue. Effectiveness of the line units had to be enhanced by the design and establishment of a database of CPC decisions.

Competition policy in Serbia, guided by the adoption of the SAA, is sufficiently clear and EU Acquis oriented. Nevertheless, a significant portion of price control policy, especially with regard to basic consumer products, remains to be developed. Some discrepancies between the comprehensive Competition Law and Policy

Programme/Project objectives

Increase the ability of the Republic of Serbia to perform the obligations stemming from the articles 72 (harmonization of the national rules with the EU Acquis) and 73, para. 1-4 and 10 (competition protection regulation and enforcement) of the Stabilization and Association Agreement by strengthening the capacity of the Competition Protection Commission for more effective enforcement of competition policy as well as more energetic and persistent preventive conduct (competition awareness and advocacy).

Ensure TA support to the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) for strengthening their institutional and operational capacity to ensuring proper enforcement of competition policy with the aim of ensuring economic benefits for consumers and market participants and to achieve:

  • Enhanced CPC enforcement capacities
  • Improved capacities of market regulators and courts on protection of  competition 
  • Enhanced competition culture