Serbian Chamber of Commerce organized a professional Conference on the occassion of completion of Project ”Strenghtening the Capacity of Commission for Protection of Competition” financed by European Union. At the introductory part of the Conference, the Agreement on Cooperation between Commission for Protection of Competition and Chamber of Commerce of Serbia was signed. This Agreement shall continue to advance successful cooperation between the Commission and Chamber of Commerce in the field of protection of competition for the more efficient functioning of the products and service market. Business community, through cooperation of the Commission and Chamber of Commerce, shall keep up with European standards in the field of competition law and policy, which is an important segment in the process of accession to full membership in European Union.

Main intention of topics of the Conference was to present a model of corporate responsibility, as well as principles and possibilities of leniency program. Model of corporate responsibility represents a system of internal rules adopted and implemented by a company in order to comply with competition rules, and thus avoid high fines prescribed for cases when there is distortion, restriction or prevention of competition in the market.

President of the Commission, Mr. Miloje Obradovic, Ph.D. said that, in the future, Commission will be primarely engaged in the fight against cartels and abuses of dominant position – problems that other countries also have, and which are the most present where there is a sigificant business activity. As he explained, the goal of the Commission is not to sanction market participants, but to make them observe prescribed standards in their business activities. Referring to negotiation Chapter 8 which regulates the field of competition, Mr. Obradovic emphasized that the protection of competition in Serbia is at its utmost harmonized with EU legislation.

Final Conference also served to summarize the results of this successful Project, and provided a frame for exchange of knowledge in order to promote competition policy in Serbia, as one of the most important policies for the functioning of free market.

Introduction of electronic file management system and operational database, development of strategic plan of the Commission for the next period was listed as being of the most important results of the Project, as well as communication strategy and finalization of ”Operational Manual” which provides all the steps in procedures under the competence of Commission for Protection of Competition. A multitude of trainings, workshops and simulations were realized to prepare employees, experts of the Commission for successful conduct of dawn raids. Initial dawn raids were successfully completed, – as positively outlined in all respects by the representative of EU Delegation – at which a sophisticated forensic equipment was used (purchased under the same IPA program from which the entire Project was financed). In addition to strategic development plan, advocacy plan of Commission was also prepared which began to be implemented and to give first results in communication with the public and in introduction of competition law and policy with government authorities, professional and general public. Autumn Scool of Competition and training of professionals from Chamber of Commerce, who will be able to provide relevant information to business community on competition law and policy, was successfully organized. The Conference served to present and introduce a model of corporate responsibility, the application of which shall reduce uncertainty faced by market participants, prevent illigal actions and lead to strenghtening of competition and increase of economic efficiency and better selection of quality goods and services.

The Conference was also attended by Mr. Freek Janmaati, Department for European Integration and Economic Affairs of Euopean Union Delegation in Serbia, Mr. Andrej Plahutnik, Project Leader, members of the Council, as well as representatives from business associations and companies.

The Project was implemented from September 2012 to 2015. In accordance with obligations under the Stabilization and Association Agreement, the Project was focused on technical and operational support to the Commission in order to strenghten its capacity for implementation of competition policy in Serbia.