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Instituted Drafting of the New Law on Protection of Competition

kzk-ekofMinistry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, as the authorized legislator, and the Commission for Protection of Competition have instituted drafting of the new regulation governing competition policy. Following drafting procedure, and in the same manner as when preparing the Regulation on the content and manner of submitting notification on concentration, the Commission will call all interested parties to submit related proposals and suggestions, so that new legal solutions could be even more approximated, not only to the EU acquis, but adjusted to the specificities of markets operating on the territory of the Republic of Serbia. The Commission expects cooperation with the academic and expert public, as well as business community representatives in the widest sense of the word, including law offices and undertakings. In this respect, the Commission expresses its familiarity with the content of statements from the document written in English language “Call to action – Protection of free competition”, prepared by an individual law office and the Association for Protection of Constitutionality and Legitimacy. Although the purpose of this notice is not to debate with the authors, but to announce drafting of the new law, however, considering that occurrence of this document coincides with the initiation of new legislative drafting, and given that mentioned text contains incorrect and blanket statements on the Law on Protection of Competition and work of the Commission, it is assessed that toward proper informing the public, it is necessary to react with regard to particular statements. The above-mentioned document assesses the work of the Commission as arbitrary, without judicial control, with particular acts taken during the proceedings characterized as the breach of basic human rights, while the Law per se is evaluated as unconstitutional, thus the call-to-action relates to its abrogation and need to enact new regulation that would be constituted under the Constitution. Without prejudice to interpret provisions of the Code of Professional Ethics for Attorneys-at-law, the Commission nevertheless reminds that the aforementioned Code, inter alia, determines that the manner in which an attorney at law communicates with the state authorities reflects the legal culture and respect for the legal profession, and that in the context of this relation, attorney-at-law should communicate in a temperate and polite manner. The aforementioned Code also determines that written motions and oral addresses should be clear, concise, appropriate and logical, while any criticism an attorney-at-law addresses to the court, other state authorities and representatives thereof must not be communicated in an inappropriate or offensive manner. Considering the aforementioned aspects, and toward preserving the reputation and standards of professional conduct, the Commission will address the Bar Association of Serbia with the request to assess infringement of the Code. The Commission is not surprised by the fact that authors refer to the abrogation of the Law on Protection of Competition as unconstitutional, as such attempts are not new, however, the manner in which such presentation is given, is perceived as inappropriate in every aspect.

We are also informed on the submission of the related document to undertakings which, if insufficiently familiarized with the Law on Protection of Competition and work of the Commission, could be mislead as to the competencies and authorities of the Commission, in addition to the rights stipulated by the Law.

Finally, regardless of the initiative claiming that future amendments to the Law on Protection of Competition will further consolidate “existing unconstitutional provisions”, which we assess as absolutely unacceptable, and in the light of previous positive experiences, the Commission expects to establish cooperation with all interested parties during the legislative drafting process pertaining to the new law on protection of competition.

Commission Representative at the Professional Development Program in Japan

kzk-ekofRepresentative of the Commission for Protection of Competition Vladimir Antonijević, Senior Advisor in the Competition Infringements Division, has attended a three-week professional development program in Japan, provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA in cooperation with the Japan Fair Trade Commission – JFTC.

The objective of this professional development seminar was to advance the implementation of competition law and policy, in addition to enabling the use of acquired know-hows toward more efficient promotion of competitive environment on the markets of program participating countries. The professional development program has encompassed all segments of competition law and policy, including both theoretical and practical implementation.

This year’s professional development program has gathered 22 representatives of competition authorities from 17 countries, while JICA has organized this type of seminars since 1994.

Student Internship Program at the Commission

kzk-ekofCommission for Protection of Competition has organized for the first time, a summer internship program intended for competition policy-related professional development of graduate and postgraduate students of law and economic studies from Universities of Belgrade, Kragujevac and Niš.

A series of lectures and workshops will be held during the internship program, enabling students to familiarize with competences and working methods of the Commission, gain basic knowledge on competition infringement detection methods, market concentration investigation methodology and preparation of economic inquiries, along with other operational aspects of this institution, including cooperation with other national competition authorities, international and domestic organizations, as well as competition advocacy tools used by the Commission.

It is expected that initiation of student internship program implementation in the Commission will contribute to raising levels of students’ competition policy theoretical knowledge and related practical implementation, as well as for the promotion of competition policy in the academic community.

Internship program enabling professional development and practical training of students in the competition policy and law area will be implemented throughout the month, and is organized pursuant to previously signed memoranda on cooperation between the Commission and aforementioned institutions.

Internship program is organized and headed by dr Siniša Milošević, Head of Economic Analysis Division.