Debata Novi SadThe Commission for Protection of Competition held a public debate at the premises of CCI in Belgrade, dedicated to discussing potential solutions with a view to advancing competition policy and law in the Republic of Serbia.

The public debate is organized under the project “Increasing economic growth through support to the promotion of competition policy”, supported by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As part of the support, the Commission’s efforts during recent months have also been directed at organizing similar events in Kragujevac, Niš and Novi Sad.

In addition to Dr Miloje Obradović, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, the keynote speakers and panelists at this highly attended event were Jovan Stojić, Chairman of the Working group for drafting new competition act and Assistant Minister of Trade, Gordana Tiodorović, member of the Working group for drafting new competition act delegated by CCI, Dr Milan Kostić and Dr Sandra Fišer-Šobot, Professors at the Faculty of Economics, University of Kragujevac, and Faculty of Law, University of Novi Sad, respectively, Miloš Andrović, as well as Dušan Protić (panel moderator) from the European Policy Center. Representatives of the Commission for Protection of Competition have made a valuable contribution to the overall quality of discussions as well, taking part as the Working group members tasked to draft a new regulatory framework for competition policy.

In thanking all of those in attendance, President of the Commission Dr Miloje Obradović has reminded the audience of the fact that the competition policy framework in Serbia is harmonized with the EU acquis. However, after more than a decade of the implementation of the current legislative model, it is time to further improve it, strengthen the current institutional capacities of the Commission for Protection of Competition, and secure increased efficiency of all mechanisms towards ensuring a level playing field and legal certainty of undertakings in the Republic of Serbia. At the same time, Obradović underlined, the European Union is likewise paving the way for the improvement of competition law and policy in conformity with new circumstances and challenges prevailing on markets.

Jovan Stojić pointed out that the expressed intention of the state is to continue to advantage education of undertakings on the importance of the observance of competition rules and announced that the first draft of the new competition act could be available by mid-2019.

Gordana Tiodorović outlined expectations that the industry would be included, as at present, in the process of implementation of the new competition act. Tiodorović welcomed the organization of such debates, aimed to better hear the parties in drafting processes to which the regulations apply.

During the debate in which numerous representatives of various industry sectors and professional associations have taken an active role is established that the new regulatory framework for competition policy should enable the improvement of procedural rights of the parties in specific administrative procedures initiated before the Commission, with due regard for specificities of the proceedings in that area, and in particular the need for efficiency.

The success of said events, where CPC representatives, in cooperation with competition policy experts, have an opportunity to communicate directly with undertakings on possibilities to improve the competition policy, had a decisive influence over the Commission to continue with the organization of similar events throughout Serbia in the future period as well.