domaca-saradnja-3One of the important preconditions for securing efficient work of the Commission is a permanent dialogue and qualitative information exchange systems established with all competent authorities in the Republic of Serbia whose activities may have an influence on the development of competition. Anticipated goals of cooperation with regulatory agencies and public authorities and organizations are, inter alia: permanent exchange of information and data, harmonization of positions on issues of common interest, and joint participation in activities enabling promotion of policies which are implemented by these authorities.

Cooperation with the institutions covered by signed protocols of cooperation during previous years (National Bank of Serbia, Energy Agency, Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services of the Republic of Serbia – RATEL, Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media of the Republic of Serbia – REM, Business Registers Agency, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia), has been confirmed as extremely useful, foremost in regard to data exchange, but also in the context of exchanging positions on all current topics and proceedings conducted before the Commission or other authorities and institutions.

During April 2016, the Commission signed the Agreement on cooperation and Agreement on cooperation in the area of forensics with the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, thus completing the formal framework for cooperation that will secure considerable improvements of the Commission’s further acting, as well as more efficient fight against competition infringements. The Agreement on cooperation sets the police assistance pertaining to individual acts in the proceedings envisaged by the Law, exchange of information and provision of services, in addition to education and trainings from the area of digital forensics for the Commission’s officials. The Agreement on cooperation in the area of forensics defines the form of technical assistance of forensics officials of the MoU to the officials of the Commission during dawn raids, in addition to providing assistance during expert analysis and evidencing of particular facts in the proceedings, all in accordance with the laws governing competition policy and police affairs. Provisions of Article 52 through 55 of the Law on Protection of Competition, define the rights and obligations of the Commission during inspections or dawn raids, including entering the business premises of the party or a third person and temporary seizure of documents and belongings. Provisions of Article 50 of the Law (Cooperation with the police) determine that the police will provide assistance in performing certain actions in the procedure upon the request of the Commission, and in particular in cases concerning inspections and temporary seizure of belongings, pursuant to the law governing police affairs. The Commission conducted a number of activities toward enabling officials of the Commission’s Technical Service to conduct dawn raids, implying acquiring knowledge from the area of digital forensics towards increasing investigative know-hows when searching personal computers and other IT storage media of employees in the business premises of the party or a third party (suspected perpetrator of competition infringement). However, as per assessment given by the Commission, inspections can be implemented with increased level of quality with the assistance provided by the police.

During previous period, the Commission opened discussions on closer cooperation with the Tax Administration of the Republic of Serbia, Customs Administration of the Republic of Serbia, etc. Data at the disposal of the above-mentioned authorities and organizations may be found necessary for the Commission’s work and are often essential as well, both in terms of their structure and speed of obtaining such information for the purpose of proceedings conducted before the Commission.

Initiating from the importance of public procurements for the overall well-being of the society, particular attention during the previous year was placed on detecting and preventing bidders’ collusive coordination (so called “rigged” bids), as well as in regard to enabling the largest number of bidders to compete in the public procurement procedures. Cooperation and coordination of activities with the Public Procurement Office of the Republic of Serbia is also considerably improved. At the same time, cooperation with the Republic Commission for the Protection of Rights in Public Procurement Procedures is also continued, as well as with the Anti-Corruption Agency, particularly in the context of anti-corruption endeavors relating to public procurements. The need for cooperation arose from the need to detect rigged bids, during which is also possible to detect a link between the contracting authority and bidders indicating to the corruption.

domaca-saradnja-2Driven by the need to improve its work, the Commission has during November 2016 signed the Agreement on cooperation with the Anti-Corruption Agency and Republic Commission for the Protection of Rights in Public Procurement Procedures. Signatory parties to the agreement took over the commitment to invest coordinated efforts toward protection of public interest, reduction of corruption risks and strengthening institutional integrity, along with defining the common cooperation areas in the context of the Public Procurement Law, Law on the Anti-Corruption Agency and Law on Protection of Competition. The activities and measures relate to placing further educational efforts toward fighting against corruption in public procurement procedures and reporting on the number of notified competition infringements in public procurement procedures pursuant to Article 27 of the Public Procurement Law, in addition to conducing activities and imposing measures with regard to prohibiting participation in public procurement procedures pursuant to Article 167 of the Public Procurement Law.

Pursuant to Article 6(2) of the Law on State Aid Control (“Official Gazette of the RS“, no. 51/09), participation of the Commission’s representative in the work of the Commission for State Aid Control is regulated in the manner where designated representative of the Commission for Protection of Competition shall at the same time be the Deputy Chairperson to the State Aid Commission President. During last year, designated representative of the Commission has actively participated in the work of the Commission for State Aid Control by regularly attending the CSAC meetings and actively contributing to their efforts by providing concrete proposals on the amendments to acts (decisions and conclusions), as well as in regard to opinions on the implementation of the Law on State Aid Control as per individual requests of the line ministries, agencies, AP Vojvodina provincial secretariats, local self-government units, etc., in addition to providing opinions in regard to submitted plans of reorganization of undischarged bankrupt, pursuant to Article 157 of the Bankruptcy Law (“Official Gazette of the RS“, nos. 104/2009 and 83/2014). In addition to the aforementioned, representative of the Commission to the State Aid Commission has during last year attended various in-country meetings concerning the topic of state aid in the Republic of Serbia and regulations governing this area. Having in mind that competition chapter is one of the most demanding and complex in the EU negotiation process, and that the European Commission shall place a particular attention to this matter, estimate of the Commission for Protection of Competition is that even more increased efforts to improve cooperation between these two commissions are needed, particularly regarding the EC assessment given in the 2016 Serbia Progress Report on competition, in part referencing the State aid, where is pointed on the importance of intensifying efforts toward overcoming observed deficiencies in improving legislative alignment and administration of State aid rules.

Upon the invitation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, the Commission actively participated in the meetings organized on the occasion of drafting General Business Conditions and acts on the categorization of bus terminals organized by the Group for the transport of passengers by road and bus terminals of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia.

Acknowledging the importance of modern economic models in economic flows, the Commission initiated more intense cooperation with the Faculty of Economics of the University of Belgrade, resulting in signing the Memorandum on Cooperation between the Commission and Faculty of Economics, in April 2016. This document establishes the scope and content of joint activities on promoting competition policy and raising awareness of its importance.

The Commission plans to additionally strengthen, already appropriate cooperation with the academic community. To that end, it is envisaged that agreements on cooperation with the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade and Faculty of Economics of the University of Kragujevac will be signed during 2017.


The International Competition Network – ICN, defines competition advocacy efforts as activities conducted by the competition authority related to the promotion of a competitive environment for economic activities by non-enforcement mechanisms, mainly through its relationships with other participants (Government, ministries, judicial authorities, National Assembly, undertakings, non-governmental sector, general public, etc.) in the competition system and by increasing awareness of the benefits of competition.

Competition policy promotion/advocacy, transparency of operations and successful communication with all relevant parties, have a crucial importance in implementing competences entrusted to the Commission by the Law. Transparent, predictable and non-discriminatory implementation of the Law by the Commission, as well as publishing of acts, presented a manner of promoting competition policy in the previous period.

Specifically, raising awareness of the importance of competition during 2016 included all activities implemented by the Commission toward advancing regulatory framework, promoting competition policy and competitive business environment, that is, strengthening awareness of the importance of competition policy by implementing mechanisms implying voluntary acceptance of rules and cooperation, while the sanctioning and compulsory execution are seen as extreme measures.
Competition advocacy measures, inter alia, encompassed the following: initiatives undertaken by the Commission toward other public authorities/agencies with the goal of influencing the regulatory framework and implementation of competition policy, as well as activities undertaken with the objective of strengthening awareness of the business community, public authorities and general public on the advantages of competition in the society.

Also, reputation and recognition of the Commission in the public are both accomplished by efficient implementation of regulations, advocacy tools, international cooperation, and via the media. By the end of 2015, the Commission improved its professional and staff capacities specifically relating to those type of activities, thus resulting in the intensified communication with the media during 2016 by utilizing various communication channels (press releases, interviews, thematic events, conferences, Q&As, promoting topics and public statements in the media, preparation and distribution of booklets), etc.

The goals that the Commission aspires to achieve via its advocacy efforts, are:
• raising awareness of the competition policy importance for the functioning of open market economy and well-being of consumers;
• introducing the public to the benefits of efficient competition (competitive business environment, reduced number of entry barriers, new jobs, improved quality of products and services, etc.);
• public recognition of the Commission, implying appropriate level of information on the Commission’s entrusted competences, but also on commitments of undertakings;
• introducing undertakings to competition policy regulations as a form of prevention of competition infringements.

Instigating from the Commission’s competences stipulated in Article 21 of the Law, but also from the practice of the EU competition authorities and beyond, likely instruments for accomplishing these goals are: providing opinions on the drafts and proposals of laws and on current regulations influencing competition policy; issuing opinions on the implementation of the Law; publishing acts in the Official Gazette of the RS and on the Internet page; conducting sector inquiries; enabling direct education via conferences, seminars and workshops; participating in roundtables and conferences; publishing booklets and specialized publications; running campaigns; issuing public notices and interviews of the Commission’s officials in the media, etc.


domaca-saradnja-5The Commission for Protection of Competition is particularly active in introducing the business and expert public communities in Serbia with all aspects of its operations, deriving from the competences entrusted to the Commission by the Law. In that sense, the Commission dedicated the year marking a decade of its operations to implementing numerous competition policy advocacy activities. Representatives of the Commission were active during numerous events organized by associations, such are NALED, Foreign Investors Council, American Chamber of Commerce and alike.

The Commission was an active participant at the conference organized by the Danas Conference Center in February 2016 in Belgrade, covering the topic: “Cable television market and protection of competition in Serbia”.

In April 2016, designated representatives of the Commission attended “Business compliance with competition law, most frequent infringements and measures of prevention” seminar organized by the Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović Law Firm and Peterhof Consulting. The objective of this seminar was to introduce undertakings and expert public to the necessity of immediate compliance of business operations with competition imposed standards. Presentations and discussions were directed toward typical competition infringement risks inherent to companies operating in Serbia. In addition to its educative mission, this seminar was an opportunity to advocate for competition in front of business and expert public, in addition to the exchange of experiences and opinions concerning this area.

The Commission for Protection of Competition accomplished a noticeable participation on the jubilee, tenth annual conference “Focus on Competition – Celebrating the First Decade”, organized in November 2016. This event is a regular annual event of the Karanović & Nikolić Law office and German foundation Friedrich Naumann. The primary importance of attending this conference can be seen in the fact that it “recruits” reputable international experts, representatives of public authorities, attorneys, corporative lawyers and business community experts who each year traditionally meet to discuss on the current issues from the competition policy domain.

In December 2016, following the invitation of the Serbian Anti-Corruption Agency, the Commission took part at the conference “Cooperation of the Anti-Corruption Agency with state institutions in the fight against corruption”, held on the occasion of marking the International Anti-Corruption Day. The event held was an opportunity to present activities that are regularly implemented by the Commission, in line with its legal competences.

Designated representatives of the Commission participated at the IV International Conference organized by the Public enterprise “Electric Power Industry of Serbia” and Balkan Magazine, institutionally supported by the Ministry of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia, organized on December 1, 2016 in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia on the topic: “Regional Electric Power Market”.

In cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, Public Procurement Office and Republic Commission for the Protection of Rights in Public Procurement Procedures, the Commission organized expert meeting “Significance of public procurement in creating business environment”, held in December 2016. The Commission’s representatives utilized this opportunity to inform the business community on the dangers of rigged bids.

In December 2016, the South-East Europe Transport Observatory – SEETO, with the technical assistance of the European Commission’s DG Transport, organized the 25th Railway and Intermodal Policy Working Group meeting. The Commission held a presentation titled: Introduction to competition railway cases, and participated in the expert topics discussions from areas such are: border crossing agreements, new rules on timetabling, railway accident and incident investigation, etc.

domaca-saradnja-4In April 2016, on the occasion of marking the tenth year anniversary, the Commission hosted William E. Kovacic, Professor of Law and Policy at the George Washington University Law School, USA, and Non-Executive Director of the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Board, as one of the leading international experts in competition policy. On that occasion, Professor Kovacic held a lecture for the Commission’s staff on the experiences and potential developmental trends, and challenges that competition authorities face around the world.

In June 2016, the Commission for Protection of Competition hosted Dr. Russell Pittman, Director of Economic Research at Antitrust Division, US Department of Justice, one of the leading experts for competition policy issues who held a valuable lecture for the Commission’s staff on utilizing econometrics in market analysis, and on the US competition policy implementation experiences.

In December 2016, following the invitation of the Anti-Corruption Agency of the Republic of Serbia, the Commission took part at the conference “Cooperation of the Anti-Corruption Agency with state institutions in the fight against corruption”, held on the occasion of marking the International Anti-Corruption Day.


domaca-saradnja-7The Commission advocates the position that by educating and raising interest of the media for competition policy area, improved understanding and attained public support can be also achieved, further utilized to excerpt a more positive influence on undertakings and political decision-makers. At the same time, obligation of informing the public on the Commission’s work is accomplished.

Timely submission of relevant information and continuous fostering of fair relations with the media, implies a strategic approach that encompasses the organization of data, plan and agenda of activities.

During 2016, the Commission invested additional efforts in making the issue of competition policy importance more transparent and comprehensible to the general public (undertakings, consumers and the media). Publishing of all important acts and notifications on events attended by the Commission is done in a transparent and timely manner, both on the Commission’s Internet pages and in all relevant media outlets (print and electronic). Public presence of the President of the Commission is also considerably important for the quality of public promotion of the Commission’s work, further reinforcing the need to continue with the public appearances of the Commission’s representatives by providing interviews, appearances, author articles, etc.

The reporting period was marked with the noticeable interest of the media representatives for all type of activities conducted by the Commission, including competition investigations. During 2016, the Commission conducted proceedings and enacted decisions in cases where participating parties were, inter alia, large international companies also operating on the market of the Republic of Serbia.

The proceedings in which the Commission enacted decisions on concentrations by ordering a determined set of measures were in a particular focus of the media’s interest. In addition to the structure of measures per se, the interest related to the imposed deadlines for related implementation, consequences of failing to implement certain conditions within the determined deadlines, possibility of approving additional deadlines, estimate of the effects created by implementation of imposed measures on competition affecting the analyzed relevant market(s). In regard to conditionally approved concentrations, the media’s interest related not only to the proceedings instituted during 2016, but also to ones from previous years where implementation of imposed measures related to the observed period as well.

The Commission replied in the shortest possible time to every inquiry submitted by the media representatives, regarding that data included in those replies which represent a business secret be omitted and treated in full accordance with the regulations. During 2016, the Commission had more than 1000 publications in the print and electronic media relating to current activities and proceedings – all of which were given in a positive or neutral connotation, which represents a significant step in the Commission’s media coverage endeavors.

During 2016, the Commission implemented the following activities:

Creating a media database

As a first step in the strategic utilization of the media potentials as communication tools, activities on creating a detailed database relevant for the media relations are initiated during 2016, particularly concerning those who are specialized in the field of economics, law, markets or specifically the area of the Commission’s particular concern, the competition. Media database contains all relevant details in regard to the type of the media (radio and television, print, internet media, etc.), as well as specialized media with the economic coverage.


The Commission organized or hosted several events that represented grounds for communicating with the media representatives aimed at promoting its activities, among which two can be undoubtedly distinguished as the most important: Competition Day, celebrating ten years of operations in Serbia and international conference “Institutional Building of National Competition Authorities in the South-East Europe”.

domaca-saradnja-6Competition Day – event agenda scheduled participation of all relevant institutions and organizations’ officials and other expert public representatives whose activities are directly related to the Commission’s operations (National Assembly, Government, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, EU Delegation to Serbia, judges of competent courts, Republic Public Prosecutor, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia, regulatory agencies, expert public, law offices, the media, etc.).

Reporting on the Commission’s conference (interviews, statements, reports) are observed in the media outlets (internet portals, electronic and print media) with national and regional coverage, official portals of the Serbian Government and Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, etc. Based on the press materials prepared by the Commission and statements given during the event, as well as previously placed interviews, reports in 24 various media outlets in the form of a short newspaper news are published, while additionally presented in more detailed when transmitted as other agency news. News agencies informed on the event pre-announcements and launched them as agency news, in addition to publishing them as a more detailed report following the event. Agencies also published statements provided by conference participants, in addition to the event-related video materials. Video materials are also published on the news agencies video-portals, thus enabling the wider public access and coverage provided by other media and general public. Press coverage of the Competition Day event was followed up by several television stations with national coverage, among which was the Republic’s public service broadcaster.

International conference “Institutional Building of National Competition Authorities in the South-East Europe” – although this event as per its nature had characteristics of an expert meeting envisioned for professionals from the competition policy and law area, the Commission for Protection of Competition also succeeded to utilize this event for promoting and advocating for competition policy to the broader public in Serbia and region. Media announcement for this conference was on two occasions distributed to all news agencies, print and e-media.

The Commission also arranged the “media partnership” with several media houses (agencies, daily newspapers, weekly and monthly newspapers and magazines and television stations) in Serbia. Guest appearance of Dr. Russell Pittman at N1 regional television station was arranged, and which was broadcasted on several occasions during the conference (in CNN fashion), and also published on the television’s Internet page. TV N1 also prepared a separate report on the importance of institutional building of national competition authorities in the SEE region. In addition to the Conference’s opening, the report included statements given on the occasion by the Commission President, Lorenzo Chiari, EBRD representative and Dimitris Loukas from the Hellenic Competition Commission.

Media publications on the Commission’s conference were subsequently analyzed (interviews, statements, reports) resulting in the identified 35+ publications (on all internet portals of print and e-media with the national and regional coverage). Also, reports are published on the Internet portals and in the print editions of related media.

Publications also included transmission of broader agency reports, all based on the distributed press materials prepared by the Commission for news reporters and statements provided during the event. In all publications (press, TV, agencies, internet portals), the focus was placed on the institutional strengthening of competition authorities and on the importance of these institutions for the society.

When analyzing the successfulness of the International Conference “Institutional Building of National Competition Authorities in the South-East Europe”, the EBRD representatives assessed this event as of exceptional importance for all SEE competition authorities, in addition to describing the event media presentation as extremely successful.

domaca-saradnja-8The OECD Regional Competition Center seminar, held in September 2016 in Belgrade, also represented an opportunity that the Commission used for promoting and advocating for the competition policy. Although the official part of this event was of a closed nature, the opening speeches of the Commission President and Director of the OECD RCC are broadcasted by the leading Serbian media.
During 2016, several interviews and guest appearances of the Commission’s representatives are organized in the print and e-media outlets with the highest selling and audience share. At the same time, the Commission President also gave several interviews to the expert magazines published in Serbia, both in Serbian and English language.


Booklet/guide book – „Essential for Competition


Keeping in mind the importance and role of the media in conveying the key messages concerning the significance of competition, but also their insufficient awareness of the matter, the Commission published the booklet – glossary “Essential for Competition” that contains explanations of the most frequent Srb-Eng terms from the competition policy area. During the preparation, a particular attention is placed on the design and visual identity of the booklet so that the material can be as attractive as possible to the widest audience. The glossary is foremost designed for the media, widest public and expert audience as well.

Over 400 copies are distributed to all news editors and journalists of electronic and print media outlets, public authorities, independent regulatory and supervisory agencies and most influential business associations. Particular goal of the publication was to establish a cooperative communication channels and improved levels of information dissemination. Being that the results of an independently implemented survey by the Commission in mid-2016 have shown insufficient information on the competences, proceedings and operative legal framework of the Commission, it is clear that the publication “Essential for Competition” has contributed to the increased level of understanding and awareness of the media on the competition policy issues, which will enable even more increased representation of the Commission in the media. Also, the booklet is utilized for the Commission’s promotion during expert meetings and other events.

Website of the Commission

screen-1During the reporting period, the Commission continued with the previously established practice, in some part relating to the stipulated legal obligations, of full operational transparency achieved by publishing all relevant documents on the official Internet presentation of the Commission (, in addition to the statements on all events of public interest relating to the Commission.

All decisions enacted by the Commission in the proceedings instituted on submitted notifications or ex officio, are available to the expert and broader public audience.

Practice of publishing public statements in regard to proceedings causing media interest is additionally intensified, but also in the cases where the Commission has assessed the importance of presenting its position on the particular issue. Also, all information on the most important activities of the Commission President, Council members and employees of the Commission are published. Such practice contributed to the considerable increased traffic on the official Internet presentation pages, increased for 31% against the previous year numbers.

During 2016, interest of the domestic and international media outlets for the Commission’s operations is increased. Print and e-media journalists, as well as of Internet portals, have sent a significant number of inquiries concerning the Commission’s field of competence. In some cases, questions related to the general public interest concerning concrete proceedings conducted before the Commission, while in others related to the media representative’s inquiries for more detailed interpretation of individual legal provisions. In all cases concerned, the Commission has always issued replies in a shortest possible time.

Intranet of the Commission

In addition to the official Internet site, the Commission has during 2016 started designing a new manners of internal communication. To that end, in September 2016, it has launched the Intranet used as a platform for information distribution relating to the internal organization, educations, in-house informing and general operational issues of the Commission. In addition to the current information for employees, the Intranet stores presentations, expert literature, surveys, discussion forums, in addition to the suggestions and initiatives related to daily operating of the Commission. The Intranet is designed for improved information of users by offering expert and all other topics considered of importance for achieving more efficient work of the Commission staff.