International Cooperation in year 2017

Assistance projects provided to the Commission

During 2017, the Commission developed and finalized as much as three project proposals, subsequently approved by relevant institutions. As the first and largest in terms of funds approved is the Twinning project proposal “Further development of protection of competition in the Republic of Serbia”, as one of the IPA support modality to EU candidate countries. The proposal is approved and the Commission is currently in the negotiation phase with selected Twinning partner. The project implementation, pending the fulfilment of all conditions, is expected in spring 2018, while the project focus is placed on three key areas:

• further harmonization of national legislation in the area of competition policy with the EU acquis;
• effective implementation and enforcement of the aligned competition legislation;, and
• increased awareness of the competition law and policy among the relevant actors in the field.

In addition to the Commission, the Twinning project proposal envisages participation of other beneficiaries such as courts, regulatory authorities, chambers of commerce and industry and associations, thus a complex effect of the project is expected, reflected on the market of the Republic of Serbia and towards strengthening capacities of the Serbian economy in the EU accession context.

The second project proposal is approved by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project consists of three segments directed at strengthening capacities of the Commission in implementing competition policy achieved via: 1) promotion of solutions from the Draft Law on Protection of Competition; 2) increased level of detection rates of competition infringements by securing the latest forensic equipment and training; and 3) raised level of competition culture and awareness among key stakeholders on the market of the Republic of Serbia. The project is structured so to avoid overlaps with the Twinning project, and moreover, the creation of synergy effects between these two projects is expected, considering that the Twinning project envisages the implementation of offline campaign, while the Norwegian projects foresees the online campaign in terms of raising awareness on the importance of protection of competition in the Republic of Serbia.

The Commission expects the third project to be implemented in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, beginning spring 2018. The main components of this project are directed towards: 1) support of the Commission’s operational activities by securing econometric software and corresponding training, drafting guidelines and glossary of competition law terminology, and other corresponding activities; 2) increased academic involvement and cooperation of the Commission’s staff; and 3) formation of the Western Balkans Forum of Competition Authorities, headquartered in Belgrade. The Forum is designed as an opportunity for respective regional competition authorities’ heads and case handlers to consult on common issues and behaviors of undertakings operating in the region, thus securing both reactive and preventive acting in the field of protection of competition.

In addition to new projects, during 2017 the Commission continued the traditionally good cooperation established with colleagues from Japan, via the Japan International Cooperation Agency. During July and August 2017, the CPC Administrative and Professional Service representative visited the Japan Fair Trade Commission, attending a three-week professional development program. The program related to theoretical improvements and practical implementation of competition law and policy, while the experience and knowledge gained by the Commission’s representative are already implemented in the context of implementation of the competition regulations on the market of the Republic of Serbia.

Relations with international organizations

As in previous years, the Commission continued intensive cooperation with OECD in 2017 as well. Although the Republic of Serbia is not OECD member country, the Commission contributes to the analytical work and activities of this organization by participating in drafting its reports, in addition to the exchange of experiences during the annual OECD conference “Global Forum on Competition”, as well as via participation of the Commission’s representatives at numerous seminars and workshops of the Regional Centre for Competition (RCC), established in 2005 by OECD and the Hungarian Competition Authority.

In accordance with the mentioned, for the purposes of drafting the 2018 Policy Outlook on Competitiveness in South East Europe by OECD (chapter relating to competition), on several occasions during 2017, the Commission submitted comprehensive sets of data containing an overview of main legal solutions from this area and participated at meetings concerning the analytical processing of submitted data. Also, the Commission’s representatives took an active role at numerous seminars and events of the Regional Centre for Competition and contributed by presenting case studies from the Commission’s practice. The following seminars organized by RCC are among most prominent:

• “Definition of relevant markets”, held in Budapest in March 2017;
• “Competition Assessment of Laws and Regulations”, held in Sarajevo in September 2017;
• “Best Practices in Cartel Procedures”, held in Budapest in October 2017; and
• “Competition Rules and the Pharmaceutical Sector”, held in Budapest in December 2017.

An additional form of cooperation and exchange of experiences with OECD is achieved via active participation of the Commission’s representatives at the 16th OECD conference “Global Forum on Competition”, held in early December 2017 in Paris. For the purposes of this event that gathers representatives of competition authorities and senior officials of other institutions around the world, the Commission submitted a written contribution, that is, a paper on the topic “Judicial perspectives on competition law”.

The Commission also continued a very close cooperation with the United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) during 2017 as well. Following an invitation of the UNCTAD representative, the Commission’s representative participated at the 16th session on the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy, held in Geneva from 5-7 Jul 2017. The Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy is a body established pursuant to the United Nations Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices, the so called the UN Set, with the objective to monitor their application and implementation. The annual meetings of this body, in addition to the events organized by the International Competition Network and OECD, are among the most important in the field of competition law and policy. In addition to the participation at the 16th session on the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy in Geneva, the Commission provided its written contribution to the UNCTAD research conducted in cooperation with the Regional Competition Council titled “Investment Policy Review of South East Europe – Serbia” in the section relating to the competition system.

For many years, the Commission also participates in the work of the Sofia Competition Forum – SCF, established in 2012 in Sofia, as a result of a joint initiative between UNCTAD and the Bulgarian competition authority. The Forum foremost serves as a platform for the provision of technical assistance, exchange of experiences and consultations in the domain of competition policy and implementation of the competition law, with a particular focus on the Balkan region.

In October 2017, the Commission’s representatives participated at the tenth Forum’s event primarily dedicated to the topic of exchange of information between market competitors. Furthermore, each Forum’s participant contributed in drafting the report on “Comparative overview of the SCF competition jurisdictions in the field of sanctions and leniency”. It was an additional opportunity for achieving a valuable exchange of information between regional competition authorities, as well as for presenting the third edition of the SCF Newsletter. The mentioned edition published an expert paper written by the CPC Administrative and Professional Service representatives, as well as news re the Commission’s operations, further contributing to the transparency of it operational work and activities directed towards raising awareness on the importance and meaning of competition policy.

The International Competition Network (ICN) is an informal, global network of competition authorities established in 2001 that besides national competition authorities (more than 120) also brings together civil sector representatives such as business and academic community, legal professionals etc., with a primary focus on the issues of competition law and policy.

In May 2017, member of the Commission Council participated at the prestige 16th annual ICN conference, held in Porto, Portugal. On the occasion, more than 600 participants from around the world exchanged practical experiences on competition policy, observed from the context of altered business environments and challenges brought by globalization and new technologies. Activities implemented by competition authorities that might contribute to the increased successfulness of leniency programs were particularly discussed, as well as tools that can enhance the competition advocacy related efforts. At a special ceremony held during the conference, the Commission received the Honorable Mention Award of the 2016-2017 Competition Advocacy Contest – Elevating Competition Policies in Economic Policy Agendas: “Innovative Advocacy Strategies to Address Market Challenges”, launched by the International Competition Network (ICN) and the World Bank Group (WBG). Submitted paper written by CPC Administrative and Professional Service representative competed in one of the several categories offered – “Implementing advocacy strategies at multiple levels (regional, national, subnational – economic wide and sector specific)”.

Furthermore, the Commission’s representatives also participated at the workshop held by the International Competition Network, focused on unilateral behavior of undertakings. Considering that the event is co-organized by the International Competition Network and the Italian competition authority, the workshop is held in Rome, while the focus was placed on digital markets – legal framework and practical experiences.

During 2017, the Commission continued to actively cooperate with the Energy Community via a line ministry of the Republic of Serbia (Ministry of Mining and Energy), and on several occasions submitted opinions and comments from the competition policy standpoint on reports and letters of the Secretariat, including opinions on the Energy Community Reports on Soft Measures Implementation, annual activity reports, proposals of amendments to the Treaty establishing the Energy Community, and alike. The Republic of Serbia is a signatory country to the Treaty establishing the Energy Community, while the Ministry of Mining and Energy participates in the negotiated procedure and implementation of the Treaty at the international level. The cooperation between the Energy Community and the Commission is established pursuant to the 2012 Declaration, establishing the Energy Community Competition Network, envisaged as a platform for the exchange of experiences between competition authorities of signatories to the Declaration and the Energy Community Secretariat, as well as towards developing examples of good practice in implementing competition regulations in the energy sector towards convergence against the EU practice and legislation in the related field.

The cooperation of the Commission with the Civil Aviation Directorate of the Republic of Serbia and EC representatives in the context of fulfilment of obligations of the Republic of Serbia pursuant to the Multilateral Agreement on the establishment of a European Common Aviation Area, is established in 2010 and revisited in March 2017. The Multilateral Agreement on the establishment of a European Common Aviation Area is singed on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Serbia in 2006, and ratified by the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in 2009. By entering into this Agreement, the Republic of Serbia committed to align national regulations against the EU acquis in individual areas, such as aviation safety, air traffic management, liberalization of the aviation market etc. The Agreement also contains competition related rules in the mentioned areas, but also stipulates the implementation of other agreements of individual parties if they involve the competition rules (such is the case of accession agreements). However, being that the Agreement is of a multilateral nature and contains competition related provisions, in two instances during 2017, for the needs of the EC expert team, the Commission submitted data to the Directorate on competition policy framework in the Republic of Serbia, containing an overview of the current legislation and the Commission’s closed proceedings in the aviation sector. Also in December 2017, the Commission’s representatives took part at a meeting with the European Commission expert team, held during their visit to the Civil Aviation Directorate, organized with a goal of making an assessment on the implementation of the Multilateral Agreement on the part of the Republic of Serbia.

Relying on positive experiences gained during workshops designed to strengthen economic capacities and skills of the Commission’s employees, as well as during the international conference held on the topic Institution building of the national competition authorities in South-East Europe in 2016, the Commission intensified cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) during 2017. In such way, the Commission applied for the project implementation relating to further strengthening of the Commission’s capacities and provision of operational assistance via several components, such as procurement of econometric software and related training, drafting guidelines and glossary of competition terminology, strengthening academic approach and cooperation of the Commission staff with academic institutions and alike. The EBRD support to the Commission’s initiative for the establishment of the Western Balkans Forum of Competition Authorities, headquartered in Belgrade, is perceived as a fact of particular importance for the Commission, but also for the cooperation between regional competition authorities. The idea is that the Forum will serve as a reactive, but also as a preventive mean of acting in the competition field for its members, by providing a platform for competition authorities’ representatives and case handlers to consult on similar issues and acting of undertakings, perceived as common for the region.

The Commission’s cooperation with the World Bank is renewed in 2017, when the parties in principle reviewed cooperation possibilities in several areas, foremost in the domain of drafting and placing focus on sector inquiries. A direct contact is also established with the International Monetary Fund Resident Representative in the Republic of Serbia, Sebastian Sosa, during which the parties particularly reviewed the relation of the Commission with sector regulators and state authorities and institutions towards advancing business environment in the Republic of Serbia.

During 2017, for the CEFTA Secretariat project implementation purposes and drafting a report titled “Implementation Status of Competition and State Aid”, the Commission contributed by submitting relevant data, foremost in the segment of competition policy implementation and its current practice. Also, the Commission’s representatives participated at the CEFTA Week, organized in Belgrade, concerning the possibilities for comprehensive advancement of business environment in the Republic of Serbia.

Bilateral cooperation

The Commission continued to maintain cooperation with numerous national competition authorities, both from the neighboring and other countries. In such manner, the Commission continuously works on the improvement of cooperation with competition authorities, their inter-connectivity and establishment of close relations which will, inter alia, advance the operational effectiveness of related authorities and secure effective implementation of competition regulations.

Albania
The Commission’s cooperation with the Albanian competition authority is after several years renewed at the end-2017, when the Commission’s representatives participated at a conference held in Tirana on the occasion of the 13th year anniversary of this institution’s operational functioning. The Commission President actively participated in the conference segment dedicated to the exchange of experiences and views of the highest competition authorities’ officials on the forms of future mutual cooperation in the competition field, while the CPC Administrative and Professional Service representative held a presentation at the panel covering the issue of legal aspects of competition policy and related EU accession challenges. The Serbian delegation also included a member of the Commission Council, which contributed to the overall presentation of the Commission in Albania and establishment of more qualitative relations with Albanian colleagues, but also to the wider public. This is of a particular relevance given that in addition to the regional and officials from the Albanian competition authority, the conference was also attended by other Albanian high officials (Deputy Prime Minister, member of the national Parliament, UNDP Albania representative), as well as representatives of international institutions, such as Dr. Russell Pittman, Director of economic research at the US Department of Justice, Sabine Zigleski, OECD Senior competition expert and Juan Luis Crucelegui, UNCTAD representative.

Austria
The Commission has signed the Memorandum on Cooperation with the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (BWB), dating from 2010. Since then, this cooperation grows even stronger, particularly considering the extensive experience and efficiency of the Austrian competition authority’s operational activities. During February 2017, the Commission’s representatives visited Vienna to attend a training course organized by Austrian colleagues in the domain of dawn raids, aimed at transferring skills significant for using this very important tool for the collection of data and information, used by all developed competition authorities. In August 2017, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority, together with the Latvian competition authority, submitted a proposal for a Twinning partnership with the Serbian Commission at a project directed at further improvement of the competition policy in the Republic of Serbia. Although the Austrian authority was not selected as a Twinning partner, the involvement of Austrian experts are expected during the project implementation, as well as the provision of their considerable contribution towards the fulfilment of project goals.

Romania
The Memorandum on Cooperation between the Romanian Competition Council and the Commission dates to 2012. During 2016, this cooperation was already considerably improved, only to be further intensified and enriched in 2017. The Romanian Competition Council accepted the invitation of the Commission to be the Guest-Host at its annually organized conference – Competition Day, held on April 7, 2017 in Belgrade. On the occasion, President of the Romanian Competition Council, Bogdan Marius Chiritoiu and his colleagues, shared valuable experiences of this EU member state with the Commission and conference participants, as a country that also went through a transitional period and complex historical changes. Besides this significant meeting, following an invitation of the Romanian Competition Council, member of the Commission Council participated at a conference held in Brussels in March 2017, and presented its own perception of the cooperation accomplished between the two competition authorities. In May 2017, at a conference held in Bucharest on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Romanian Council, the CPC Administrative and Professional Service representative presented the results achieved to date and priorities set for 2017 by the Serbian Commission. Also, at the end of November 2017, the Commission’s representatives acted as the Gust-Host at a conference organized by the Romanian Competition Council in Bucharest, focused on the increasing level of digitalization of business processes and related challenges, titled “Competition 2.0”. Alongside Romanian high officials, the Commission President addressed the audience during the first part of the conference, while a member of the Commission Council participated at a panel held on the topic “New tendencies in telecom markets and their impact on competition”.

The Romanian Competition Council also submitted its proposal for a Twinning partnership with the Serbian Commission for a project directed at further development of competition policy in the Republic of Serbia. Considering that the Italian competition authority is selected as a Twinning partner, the involvement of Romanian experts with extensive experience is expected during the project implementation in the form of short-term expert assignments.

Russian Federation
The Commission and the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (FAS) signed the Memorandum on Cooperation in the field of competition policy in December 2012. Following the signing and continuously throughout the years, the cooperation between the two competition authorities is continued by organizing a series of trainings, seminars and study visits, making the mutual contacts more enriched and meaningful. In April 2017, two FAS representatives participated at the Competition Day event organized by the Commission, and in such manner contributed to the quality and international character of the event. During June 2017, FAS representatives attended a three-day study visit to the Commission. This visit represented an opportunity for the Russian colleagues to familiarize with the practice of the Serbian Commission, but also for the representatives of both parties to mutually compare their experiences and challenges arising from their day-to-day practices. In September 2017, following an invitation sent by FAS, the Commission participated at the traditionally organized “Russian Competition Week”, held in Veliky Novgorod from 18-22 September. The topics of this year’s conference related to the competition in particular market segments, such as IT, pharmaceutical industry etc., while the Commission’s representative at this event was a member of the Commission Council.

Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Commission signed the Memorandum on Mutual Understanding and Cooperation with Bosnia and Herzegovina, dating from 2009. During 2017, the cooperation is actualized by holding several meetings during international conferences, and in particular, by organizing bilateral visits. At the end of November 2017, President of the Competition Council visited the Commission, while the Commission delegation reciprocated the visit to colleagues from Sarajevo in December 2017. The main topics of these meetings related to bilateral cooperation in implementing the competition policy and to the exchange of experiences of these two competition authorities in respect of the EU accession processes of the Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition to the mentioned, during both meetings the parties also held discussions on the modalities of initiative for the establishment of the Western Balkans Forum of Competition Authorities, jointly instituted by the Commission with EBRD, as well as on the importance of this form of organizing for the continued improvement of regional cooperation between competition authorities. The fact that both authorities expressed a preference for the expansion of cooperation as defined in the 2009 Memorandum proves as extremely significant, as well as their mutual readiness to invest additional efforts in advancing the institutional and legislative framework of competition policy in the region.

Slovenia
The Memorandum of Understanding with the Slovenian competition authority, Slovenian Competition Protection Agency, dates from 2013. As in 2016, the Commission’s representatives participated at the Slovenian Competition Day, held in Ljubljana in September 2017. The main topic of this year’s event related to the restrictions of competition by object or by effect (“How to establish a sufficient degree of harm to competition”) and potential restrictions of competition by minority shareholders acting in concert, in the context of corporate law. In addition to discussions to the above-mentioned topics, the event served as an opportunity for the Commission President and two representatives of the CPC Administrative and Professional Service to confirm good cooperation with the Slovenian competition authority and consult with Slovenian colleagues on the establishment of the Western Balkans Forum of Competition Authorities.

Croatia
An additional example of good regional cooperation is set by a relation with the Croatian Competition Agency, with whom the Commission has a signed agreement on cooperation since 2013. Following an invitation sent by this authority, the Commission’s representatives participated at the 10th annual workshop on economic issues in competition law, held in September 2017 and co-organized with the US Federal Trade Commission. The workshop served as a platform for discussions on qualitative and quantitative evidence, economic modeling in defining relevant markets, monitoring the effects of inquiries via simulations of market concentrations and on other similar topics, while the Commission President and two representatives of the CPC Administrative and Professional Service contributed to the discussions. Also, following an invitation of Croatian colleagues, the Commission’s representatives visited Zagreb in November 2017 to attend an international conference organized by the Croatian competition authority to mark the 20th anniversary of its operating activities. The Commission President participated at a panel discussion on the topic of judicial protection in competition cases, and exchanged experiences with colleagues from other competition authorities, as well as judges from the jurisdiction.

Japan
The Commission implements the cooperation with Japan by cooperating with various institutions, foremost with the Embassy of Japan in Belgrade and with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). During 2017, this cooperation is verified by established work contracts with the Embassy and participation of the CPC Administrative and Professional Service representatives at a three-week professional development program at the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), organized by JICA.

Republic of Korea
In addition to already traditional forms of cooperation built with the aforementioned competition authorities, the year 2017 is also marked by the established cooperation with the Embassy of Korea in Belgrade, as well as with colleagues from the Korean competition authority (Korea Fair Trade Commission – KFTC). Considering the extensive experience of the Korean competition authority and considerable results achieved in the competition field, the Commission contacted the Embassy of the Republic of Korea aimed at establishing cooperation between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Korea and related competition authorities. The initiative resulted in a highly successful seminar held on Oct 26, 2017 in Belgrade, attended by representatives from the Korean competition authority, Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), H.E. YOO Dae Jong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Belgrade, as well as Ms. Radica Nusdorfer, Head of the Economic and European Integration Section at the EU Delegation to Serbia. During the seminar, the Commission established close cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Belgrade and agreed on modalities of future cooperation between the Commission and the Korean competition authority, which is found to be extremely significant.

Federal Republic of Germany
The Commission hasn’t signed an agreement on cooperation with the German Federal Cartel Office (Bundeskartellamt), but has additionally engaged during 2017 to expand this cooperation. In March 2017, the CPC Administrative and Professional Service representative participated at the international conference held in Berlin, organized by the Federal Cartel Office, supported by the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation (IRZ). The conference was attended by a great number of high ranked guests, including Margrethe Vestager, EC Commissioner for Competition, while the Serbian Commission representative used this opportunity to also establish a direct contact with the President of the German Federal Cartel Office, Andreas Mundt. Following this conference, German colleagues were sent an invitation to attend the Conference Day of the Serbian Commission in April, while the Commission received a return invitation of the German Federal Cartel Office to attend an event marking the 60th years of operations of the Federal Cartel Office, to be held next year in Berlin. Furthermore, during 2017 the Serbian Commission also established a contact with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Belgrade, which supported the proposal of the Federal Cartel Office and the Latvian competition authority in relation to the participation in a Twinning project.

Belarus
The Commission President and the Minister of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade of Belarus have signed the Memorandum on Mutual Understanding and Cooperation in the Competition Policy Area between these two institutions. The implementation of this agreement opens the possibility for more intensive cooperation in the competition policy area, along with the development of bilateral relations in addition to securing conditions for efficient functioning of product and service markets between institutions in charge of implementation of competition policy in the Republic of Serbia and Belarus. The Memorandum stipulates the forms of mutual assistance in implementing the antitrust legislation and development of competition policy, aimed at the exchange of experiences and opinions. Also, the Memorandum envisages the exchange of staff, organization of seminars, forums, training courses and other similar manifestations, as well as the exchange of publications and other documents. The Memorandum on Cooperation with Belarus is the 12th signed agreement of the Commission with competition authorities or institutions of other countries. The Memorandum is signed during the session of the Belarusian-Serbian Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation, held in Belgrade on April 18-19.

Meetings with representatives of the diplomatic corps and foreign business associations

One of the more important novelties in the Commission’s operations relates to the establishment of closer cooperation with diplomatic and consular missions and representatives of various countries in the Republic of Serbia, directed towards contributing to the development of business environment and intensifying the exchange of experiences in the competition policy field with other competition authorities from around the world. In that way during 2017, the Commission held several meetings and visits with representatives of the diplomatic corps and foreign business associations with registered seats in the Republic of Serbia.

At the end of February, Head of the IMF Resident Representative Office in Serbia, Sebastian Sosa, visited the Commission and on the occasion had an opportunity to familiarize with the activities to date, as well as plans of the Commission aimed at the advancement of competition policy in the Republic of Serbia. During the meeting is concluded that both institutions have an important role in improving competitiveness of our country, including the process of restructuring state-owned and public enterprises, with particular emphasis on proceedings conducted before the Commission in such cases, opened with the goal to establish an efficient competition in sectors where they operate. Within these topics, the responsibility of public enterprises in the context of natural and legal monopolies they hold is particularly emphasized, while the IMF Resident Representative offered the assistance and cooperation to the Commission in these domains. Furthermore, the parties paid a special attention to the Commission’s relation with sector regulators, and its interest to cooperate with all competent authorities and institutions with the goal of enhancing national business environment.

Two months later, the Commission President received a visit of the Romanian Ambassador H.E. Oana-Cristina Popa. The meeting served as an opportunity to introduce Ambassador Popa to the Commission’s operational mode and to familiarize the gust with the most important aspects of competition policy in the Republic of Serbia, whose main pillar is the Commission. During the talks, the Commission emphasized the excellent cooperation achieved with the Romanian Competition Council.

One of the representatives of the diplomatic corps visiting the Commission was the Ambassador of Israel to Serbia, H.E. Alona Fisher Kamm. By receiving the visit, the Commission President, inter alia, presented a request to the Embassy to convey interest of the Commission to intensify cooperation with the Israeli competition authority. Ambassador Fisher Kamm welcomed the instituted initiative of the Commission, and expressed a pleasure in relation to potential opening room for further improvement of business environment in the Republic of Serbia by the related initiative.

Early September, the Commission President received a visit of the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Serbia, H.E. YOO Dae Jong. This meeting proved very useful, since on the occasion was agreed on the initiation of more dynamic and concrete cooperation between the Commission and the Korea Fair Trade Commission.

In mid-September, the Commission also hosted the Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Serbia, Vera Nikolić Dimić. The fact that the AmCham is a leading business association in Serbia with more than 190 American, international and local member-companies operating in 18 various sectors, with more than 14 bln euro investments, proves the significance of this cooperation.

During the meeting, the parties paid a particular attention on details in relation to drafting of a new legislation governing competition policy. Active involvement of domestic and foreign companies operating in Serbia, in addition to the expert public, is mutually assessed as a favorable solution in drafting the new competition law. In addition, the parties also emphasized the importance of further intensification of cooperation in the field of additional education of all business entities in the Republic of Serbia on the competition law and policy. To that end, and as agreed, the AmCham will be involved in all activities of the Commission aimed at promoting competition policy.

International conferences and seminars

Competition Day – On April 7, 2017, on the occasion of the Competition Day, the Commission organized the international conference “Challenges in the implementation of competition policy on the path towards the EU”.

The conference consisted of two panels designed for the exchange of experiences regarding the relations between national competition authorities with the European Commission, degree of their functional and financial independence, importance of raising capacities, in addition to the forms of cooperation in handling cases with increasingly featured regional and international character. For the first time in its history, this conference introduced the honorable “guest-host” format, welcoming on the occasion the Competition Council of Romania.

Opening speeches are given by Dr. Miloje Obradović, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition, Ms. Snežana B. Petrović, President of the Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Steffen Hudolin from the EU Delegation to Serbia, and Mr. Bogdan Chiritoiu, President of the Romanian Competition Council. The conference’s panel discussions gathered more than 150 guests, and were facilitated by Mr. Nicholas Banasevic, Head of Unit in DG Competition of the European Commission, Mr. Mladen Cerovac, President of the Croatian Competition Council, Dr. Dragan Lončar, Professor at the Faculty of Economics in Belgrade, Mr. Gianluca Sepe, Head of Sector – EU legislation, Italian Competition Authority, and Mr. Čedomir Radojčić and Dr. Veljko Milutinović, CPC Council members. The conference was attended by numerous officials from public institutions, regulatory authorities and scientific institutes, in addition to representatives from chambers of commerce and industry, law offices and business associations, as well as representatives from all regional competition authorities.

On October 30, 2017, the Commission and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea organized an event titled “Knowledge-sharing seminar on Korean and Serbian competition law”.

The objective of this event was to enrich the current know-hows of not only employees, but other interested parties on good international practices on competition policy implementation. Introductory presentations were given by the Commission President, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Belgrade, and the Head of the Economic and European Integration Section at the EU Delegation to Serbia. Presentations were held by the Director-General of the Korean state-funded trade and investment promotion agency KOTRA in Serbia, representative of the Korean Fair Trade Commission at the Korean Embassy in Brussels, and member of the CPC Council.

Particular attention was placed on the implementation of leniency program in the Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea is among most efficient countries in the competition policy implementation. In so doing, over 70 percent of suspended antitrust proceedings are conducted directly owing to the successfulness of leniency program, implemented on the part of competition authority of the Republic of Korea since 1997.

NALED and the Commission organized a round table on the topic “Significance and Challenges of Retail Trade Sector Development in Serbia in terms of Competition Policy”. The roundtable is organized so that representatives of companies operating in retail trade sector in the Republic of Serbia would be introduced to relevant details of a comprehensive inquiry project regarding retail market in Serbia, instituted by the Commission, but also with the goal of calling upon those involved in this sector’s operations to present their proposals and suggestions toward drafting of this document, which is being prepared for the first time in our country. In addition, this inquiry encompasses the end-user and supply retail trade markets, focusing on relations between retailers and their suppliers, as well as on the influence of private-label products affecting competition. Participants of the roundtable event were welcomed by Commission President Dr. Miloje Obradović, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of NALED Goran Knežević, while Head of Economic Inquiries Division of the CPC Dr. Siniša Milošević and his associates have introduced the audience with the implementation plan and goals of this sector inquiry. Representatives of the retail sector and suppliers have participated at this roundtable, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Trade, law offices and expert public, while the event was organized within the Working group for Chapter 8 – Competition Policy of the National Convent, chaired by NALED.

PROJECT SUPPORT TO THE COMMISSION

NIS EKSPRESThe Commission for Protection of Competition and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade signed the Grant Agreement funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the implementation of project “Increasing economic growth through support to promotion of competition policy”.

The Grant will be utilized for strengthening capacities of the Commission in implementing competition policy, while the planned effect is the advancement of its operating capacities and raising the level of awareness on the competition policy in Serbia.

The Project comprises of three segments which will be implemented through organizing promotions of solutions from the Draft Law on Protection of Competition with the objective of preparing a legislative proposal in as qualitative manner as possible, via increasing detection rate of competition infringements, as well as by raising the level of competition culture and awareness among key stakeholders in Serbia. The Agreement stipulates the project implementation period of 24 months, executed during 2018 and 2019.

In May 2017, the Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade published a call for submitting proposals for project “Strengthening EU integration in Serbia and Montenegro”. The overall goal of Norway’s assistance to the Western Balkans is to contribute to development of rule of law and stability through initiatives that promote stability, that is to say closer regional cooperation and implementation of transitional justice in the region, socio-economic development achieved through the increased economic growth and competitiveness, increased capacity in the field of environment, climate and energy, in addition to the increased social and economic inclusion of marginalized groups. The objectives of Norwegian assistance to the Western Balkans are also strengthening of the rule of law through capacity-building of courts, prosecuting authorities, independent control bodies and the police, a more democratic and effective defense sector, and also the fight against organized crime and corruption established as a top priority for the authorities.

This call of the Norwegian Embassy also aims to provide project-based support within the three priority areas of Norwegian development assistance to Ministries, local governments and public institutions participating in promoting and enhancing EU integration of Serbia and Montenegro. The proposed action must contribute to Serbian and Montenegrin EU integration process in one or more of the following chapters: Chapter 5: Public procurement; Chapter 8: Competition policy; Chapter 23: Judiciary and fundamental rights; Chapter 24: Justice, freedom and security; Chapter 27: Environment (for Montenegro only); Chapter 32: Financial control; and, Chapter 35: Other issues – Normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo (for Serbia only). The proposed activities must take place in Serbia and/or Montenegro.

 

 

International Cooperation, 2016

 

PROJECT SUPPORT TO THE COMMISSION

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe “Advanced economic training and support program for employees of the Commission for Protection of Competition” project is completed during 2016. In cooperation with the Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies (CLDS) and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Commission implemented related project containing the following basic elements: 1) procurement of econometric software and related training of the employees; 2) knowledge improvement on forensic software implementation and dawn raids implementation; 3) defining and implementing public relations strategy of the Commission; 4) seminars on economic regulation and related regulated sectors. The project is concluded by organizing the international conference: “Building institutional capacities of national competition authorities in the SEE region”. It is expected that the conference proceedings will be published during 2017.

A twinning project, as one of the IPA form of support provided by the EU to candidate countries, is pending approval. The Commission prepared a proposal of activities whose implementation is expected to be effected by late 2017, focus being placed on the following three key areas:

• further national regulatory compliance with the EU acquis;
• efficient implementation and administration of harmonized competition legislation; and
• raising awareness of the competition law and policy among all relevant actors.

The PERFORM project implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooparation SRB Representative Office, in cooperation with the Republic Secretariat for Public Policies of the Republic of Serbia, from April-October 2016, included the Commission as one of the project’s beneficiaries. The main goal of this project was implementation of the aftermarkets sector inquiry that covered guarantees, aftersales services, turnover and use of motor vehicles spare parts and top selling home appliances, towards perceiving the structure and relationship between the main market entities, their market shares and relative power with the goal of detecting potential market weaknesses, that is, existence of conditions for conducting competition infringement investigations. The inquiry resulted in a series of conclusions and recommendations published on the Commission’s Internet page, pursuant to which a regulation on the conditions for group exemption of agreements in the motor vehicle sector will be prepared, thus transporting the EC Regulation 461/2010 into the Serbian legislative framework.

As part of the support program implemented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA, Head of the Department for Economic Inquiries visited Japan in September 2016 for attending the professional development program organized in cooperation with the Japanese competition authority – Japan Fair Trade Commission – JFTC.

The professional development program incorporated all segments of competition law and policy from the comparative practice perspective. The goal of this program was the advancement of competition law and policy administration, along with the implementation of acquired knowledge towards more efficient promotion of competition environment on the markets of participating countries.

RELATIONS WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

davAlthough not a member of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Serbia holds a prominent role during the workshops organized by the Regional Competition Centre (RCC), founded in 2005 by the OECD and Hungarian competition authority. During previous period, designated representatives of the Commission attended several events and contributed through submitting written materials on the Commission’s case studies, which presented the grounds for receiving expert’s opinions and recommendations from other competition authorities. During 2016, the Commission took an active role in the RCC organized seminars, such are: “Competition Rules and the Financial Sector” and “Basic Concepts and Procedures in Competition Law for Young Authority Staff”. The fact that despite of the significant number of submitted interests by various countries, the OECD senior management entrusted the Serbian Commission with the organization of one of the events during 2016, can be seen as an indicator of strengthened mutual cooperation and increased trust towards the Commission. The seminar is organized during last week of September in Belgrade – for more information, see Chapter 9.4. The Commission is also active in the OECD Secretariat implemented projects relating to data collection, performing analysis and providing expert assistance, and organization of seminars and workshops for the regional countries.

During 2016, the Commission continued to prepare and submit expert articles relating to the country-specific practice from the area of competition law and policy implementation, published in the RCC e-Bulletin.
An additional form of cooperation and exchange of experiences with the OECD is accomplished via active participation of the Serbian designated representatives during 15th OECD “Global Forum on Competition”, held in December 2016 in Paris. For the purpose of this event which gathered representatives of numerous international competition authorities, the Commission submitted written contributions for the sessions “Sanctions in antitrust cases” and “Independence of competition authorities – from design to practice”.

Designated representative of the Commission that orally defended the Commission’s positions before the conference plenum and during individual sessions held on the occasion, had opportunity to receive comments on presented positions from designated peers of participating competition authorities, as well as from representatives of academic institutions, in addition to holding a several bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the conference.

An exceptionally close cooperation established with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is continued during 2016 as well. Upon invitation of the UNCTAD representatives, designated representative of the Commission for Protection of Competition participated at the 15th Session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Competition Law and Policy, held in Geneva, from 19-21 October 2016. The Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Competition Law and Policy is an authority founded in accordance with the United Nations Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles, and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices, so-called the UN Set, aimed at monitoring related implementation and administration. The IGE annual meetings, in addition to the International Competition Network (ICN) and OECD events, are one of the most prestige and important gatherings covering the issue of competition law and policy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn addition to participating at the 15th Session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Competition Law and Policy, held in Geneva, and 7th Meeting of the UNCTAD Research Partnership Platform that is held on the sidelines of the main event, the Commission contributed by submitting papers to the ”Project on State and Competition Law”, implemented by New York University and University of New South Wales Faculty of Law, supported by UNCTAD Research Partnership Platform.

The Commission also traditionally participates at the Sofia Competition Forum event, organized by the SFC in cooperation with the UNCTAD. The Sofia Competition Forum (SFC) is founded during 2012 in Sofia, as a result of joint initiative between the UNCTAD and Bulgarian competition authority. The main purpose of this organization is to provide a non-formal platform for technical assistance, exchange of experiences and consultancies in the competition policy and law domain, with particular focus on the Balkans region.

During 2016, designated representatives of the Commission have on two occasions participated and presented materials at the SFC workshops. In June 2016, representatives of the Commission participated at the 8th Forum meeting, also attended by Ms. Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition, UNCTAD representatives, representatives of the EU national competition authorities, as well as representatives of the Russian, Japanese and regional national competition authorities.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADuring the second week of November, designated representatives of the Commission participated at the 9th Forum meeting whose main focus was placed on discussing plenary topic “Pricing abuses of dominance in energy and telecommunications”, and presenting the report ”Comparative overview of the SCF competition regimes in the field of Procedural Fairness”. The event presented an additional opportunity for achieving a highly valued exchange of regional and international experiences. Also, the event publicized the second edition of the SFC Newsletter published by the Sofia Competition Forum. The Newsletter included the expert article written by Mr. Čedomir Radojčić, a newly elected member of the Commission Council, as well as news concerning the work of the Commission for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Serbia, which considerably contributed to the Commission’s overall efforts in raising awareness of the importance of competition policy and operational transparency.

International Competition Network (ICN) is a non-formal, global network of competition authorities, also gathering non-governmental sector representatives, such are business, academic community and legal profession representatives, etc., primarily focusing on the issues of anti-monopoly law and policy implementation. This organization gathers more than 100 members, whereas 104 national competition authorities take participation in its work.

During October 2016, the Commission participated at the workshop dedicated to the enhancement of cartel detecting knowledge, the ICN Cartel Workshop, organized for the 13th time in a row by the International Competition Network. The hosting institution of the workshop held in Madrid was Spanish competition authority – Comision nacional de los mercados y la competencia. During the workshop designed for representatives of various national competition authorities and non-governmental sector, the focus was placed on detecting and investigating cartel strategies, manners of potential preventable acting, as well as cooperation between competition authorities in detecting and preventing cartels.

Cooperation between the Energy Community Competition Network and Commission is based on the 2012 Declaration, a founding document of the Energy Community Competition Network. The Network is designed as a platform for the exchange of experiences between competition authorities as signatory parties to the Declaration and Energy Community Secretariat, in addition to developing a good practice examples when implementing competition regulations to energy sector issues, aimed at convergence of practices and regulations against the EU acquis in this specific domain.

medjunarodna-saradnja-2During 2016, the Energy Community Competition Network’s meeting was not held, but the Commission continued to actively cooperate with the Energy Community Secretariat by submitting the line ministry (Ministry of Mining and Energy) opinions and comments to the reports and communications of the Secretariat, including the opinion on the amendments to the Treaty Establishing the Energy Community. In addition, designated representatives of the Commission met with the Secretariat representatives in order to review current issues considered influential to the competition in the energy sector area, and have demonstrated their preparedness to be further engaged in the field, particularly in the light of revised “Energy Community Dispute Settlement Rules” and related corresponding rights of interested parties. During 2016, institutions reached an agreement on residency of designated staff of the Commission’s Technical Service in the Office of the Energy Community Competition Network in Vienna during 2017.

BILATERAL COOPERATION – PROTOCOLS OF COOPERATION

medjunarodna-saradnja-10In April 2016, Dr. Miloje Obradović, Commission President, and Blagoj Čurlinov, President of the Commission for Protection of Competition of Macedonia, signed the Memorandum of Mutual Understanding and Cooperation in the field of Competition Law and Policy Implementation. By signing this document, Serbian and Macedonian competition authorities made an important step in the direction of complying against the EU standards in competition law and policy implementation, which represents an important segment in the negotiation process aimed at attaining a full membership in the European Union, as it represents a strategic interest of both countries.

During 2013, the Commission signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Slovenian competition authority – Slovenian Competition Protection Agency. During 2016, this cooperation is additionally improved by achieving participation of the Commission’s designated representatives at the Slovenian Competition Day event, held in September 2016. The event primarily focused on the challenges deriving from the EU Damages Directive implementation, enacted with the goal of improved implementation of competition rules by providing rights to the damaged parties to exercise the right to compensation as a consequence of infringements of competition rules under national law. Also, the event represented an opportunity to exchange experiences concerning competition policy implementation and legislative framework practices, and continuation of good cooperation between these two institutions. President of the Slovenian competition authority visited the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition in September 2016, and met with the Commission President and Council members where he had an opportunity to discuss positions on the current issues arising from the regional competition protection practices.

Memorandum of Cooperation between the Romanian Competition Council and Serbian Commission dates from 2012. During 2016, this cooperation is promoted by organizing a visit of the Romanian Competition Council President, Mr. Bogdan Marius Chiritoiu to the Serbian Commission on the occasion of marking its 10th year founding anniversary. This event presented a preparation for the bilateral meeting of two authorities’ representatives held in Romania in the form of a round table discussions on a numerous topics of joint interest, and particularly on the treatment of notifying parties and “whistleblowers”, cases of rigged public bids, cartels in the oil and oil derivatives sector and sector inquiries.

In June 2016, the Commission received a visit of the Vice President of the Greek competition authority – Hellenic Competition Commission. Topics of discussion related to the exchange of experiences in the field of competition law and policy implementation, in addition to further advancing mutual cooperation between these two authorities, accompanied with the agreement on further cooperation steps.

In June 2016, designated representatives of the Commission visited Rome during a three-day study visit to the Italian competition authority (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato), organized as a part of the program support provided by „TAIEX“ – Technical assistance and information exchange instrument of the Directorate-General for EU enlargement. The goal of this study visit was familiarization with the competition regulatory framework of the Republic of Italy, improvement of professional knowledge and skill sets from the most important areas of competition policy and law, in addition to the analysis of prominent case studies from the Italian competition authority’s practice.

medjunarodna-saradnja-12A traditionally good cooperation between the Serbian Commission and Austrian Federal Competition Authority, formally established by signing the Memorandum of Cooperation in 2010, is also continued during 2016. Following the invitation of the Austrian competition authority’s General Director, Dr. Theodor Thanner, a bilateral meeting is organized in Vienna, dedicated to discussing plans on the continuance of cooperation between two institutions, regional initiatives relating to increasing knowledge and harmonizing practices of competition law and policy with the EU acquis, in addition to prevailing topics currently considered by the Austrian and Serbian competition authorities. Directed at enhancing relations, it is agreed that in the period to come Austrian colleagues will conduct a training session and present a dawn raid simulation to their Serbian peers, which will enable them to acquire a set of new skills in utilizing this very important tool for data and information collection, used by all developed competition authorities.

During 2016, the Commission intensified cooperation with the British Embassy Belgrade. During the bilateral meetings is noted that conveying the good practice examples and rich experiences of the British experts, particularly of the British competition authority (Competition and Markets Authority), may represent a form of valuable support to the Commission during its further engagements. Other forms of support, via exchanging competition advocacy tools and advancing the regulatory framework and general economic environment in the Republic of Serbia are also touched upon, keeping in mind that the competition objectives are essentially directed toward achieving economic progress and overall well-being of the society.

The Commission implements cooperation with Japan via liaising with various institutions – foremost the Embassy of Japan to Serbia and Japan International Cooperation Agency – JICA. During 2016, this cooperation is marked by the Embassy delegation visit to the Commission, headed by the First Secretary at the Embassy, Mr. Kanno Yoshifumi. In addition to the aforementioned, via jointly organized program of the JICA and Japan Fair Trade Commission – JFTC, designated representative of the Commission participated at the three-week professional development program in Japan, during September 2016.

The Commission also initiated talks on cooperation possibilities with the USA. The Commission representatives had a chance to welcome a new economic team of the Embassy, directed by the Head of Economic Affairs Section of the USA Embassy to Serbia, Ms. Carolina Hidea, and to introduce them to current issues concerning the competition policy and activities implemented by the Commission within the EU accession process. Also, talks included possibilities of further strengthening of expert and educational support to the Commission via competition policy related projects, organization of seminars, visiting lecturers, conferences, joint study programs on competition policy and alike.

CONFERENCES, SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS

medjunarodna-saradnja-9On the occasion of the Competition Day and marking ten years of operational work, on April 12, 2016, the Commission organized international conference dedicated to the competition policy topic. During the expert part of conference, the following participants addressed more than 120 guests, namely: Theodor Thanner, General Director of the Austrian competition authority, William Kovacic, Professor at the George Washington University, Hassan Qaqaya, former Head of the UNCTAD Competition and Consumer Policies Branch, Bogdan Marius Chiritoiu, President of the Competition Council of Romania, Yana Mikhailova, President of the Serbian Foreign Investors Council’s Board of Directors, Mladen Cerovac, President of the Croatian Competition Council, and Andrey Tsyganov, Deputy Director of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation. Representatives of the Serbian regulatory agencies also attended the conference, as well as Serbian MP’s and Government officials, EU Delegation to Serbia representatives, and representatives of the Diplomatic Choir, scientific institutions, chambers of commerce, law offices and business associations.

medjunarodna-saradnja-11Beginning June 2016, the Commission hosted another international event. In cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and with technical support of the Center for Liberal-Democratic Studies (CLDS), the Commission organized international conference titled “Institutional Building of National Competition Authorities in the South-East Europe”. The conference was opened by the Commission President, Dr. Miloje Obradović, EBRD Director for Serbia, Daniel Berg, and Tanja Miščević, Head of the Negotiating Team for Accession of the Republic of Serbia to the EU. The three-day event gathered more than 150 participants from the national competition authorities of the SEE region, international and domestic expert public representatives, in addition to related industry sectors and law profession representatives. The panelists were Dr. Russell Pittman, US Department of Justice, Lorenzo Chiari, EBRD, Gregor Langus, European Commission’s DG Competition, as well as members of the Commission Council and employees.

In September 2016, the Commission hosted a traditional, esteemed seminar of the OECD Regional Centre for Competition. The topic of this event, as per initiative of the Commission, was how to enhance competition culture, competition advocacy and perform estimates of the competition policy effectiveness in the SEE region. The seminar was attended by more than 30 participants from 21 regional competition authorities, European Union and Euro-Asian region, while the main panelists were Sabine Zigelski, OECD competition expert, Šarunas Keserauskas, Chairman of the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania, and Kay Weidner, Spokesman for the German Federal Cartel Office. Designated representatives of the Commission also participated as expert professionals during the seminar.

During the first and second conference day, participants had a chance to be introduced with the methods implemented by competition authorities aimed at improvement of competition culture, in addition to analyzing a hypothetical case referring to presenting the media with a set of competition measures imposed on cartel participants, as well as the effects of campaigns directed toward enhancing general public knowledge of the competition policy implemented by competition authorities of the participating countries. The third conference day was dedicated to the market monitoring instruments (sector inquiries, studies, hypothetical cases, reports, researches, etc.) with the aim of identifying possible market weaknesses or existence of conditions for competition infringements. Representatives of Lithuania, Germany, Ukraine, Romania and Serbia presented their case related experiences.

In May 2016, a seminar organized by the Regional Centre for Competition – OECD and Hungarian competition authority held in Budapest covering the topic “Exchange of Information”, represented an additional opportunity for the Commission employees to achieve professional advancement.

medjunarodna-saradnja-1The Commission for Protection of Competition took part at the 14th Annual Conference of the Association of Competition Economics – ACE, held in Amsterdam in October 2016, which presented an opportunity to discuss on a considerable number of case studies coming from the practice of various European competition authorities. During the stay in the Netherlands, the Commission representatives also attended the conference organized by the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets – ACM, honoring the tenth year operating anniversary of the Department for Economic Inquiries.

Following the invitation sent by the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, the Commission representatives attended “The Russian Competition Week” event held in Moscow. The motto of this manifestation and topic of one of the plenary sessions was “New reality. New challenges. New competition policy”. On the sidelines of this three-day conference, the Commission delegation also held an extremely useful bilateral meeting with the Vice-President of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation, Anatoly Golomolzin, on the improvement of relations and cooperation efforts between the Serbian and Russian competition authorities. Furthermore, the Commission and Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation have signed the Agreement of cooperation in the field of competition policy implementation, in December 2012, which was followed by a series of trainings, seminars and study visits – all directed at intensifying and achieving more substantial cooperation between these two competition authorities.

In November 2016, the Commission participated at the TAIEX Regional Workshop held in Podgorica, as the EC implemented project for strengthening the Western Balkan countries institutional capacities, whereas the co-organizer of the Workshop was the Agency for Protection of Competition of Montenegro. The workshop was dedicated to the advancing and intensifying cooperation efforts between competition authorities operating in the Western Balkans region, and thus was attended by the representatives of competition authorities from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro, in addition to experts from numerous countries which all shared related experiences with workshop participants.

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 public institutions in the fight against corruption”, held on the occasion of marking the International Anti-Corruption Day. The event presented an opportunity to showcase activities that are regularly implemented by the Commission, in line with its legal competences.