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THE COMPETITION COUNCIL PARTICIPATED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NEW REGIONAL COOPERATION PLATFORM IN THE FIELD OF COMPETITION POLICY

           
27.04.2023   292 Views    

On 18-19 April 2023, the delegation of the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova led by Alexei GHERȚESCU, the President of the Competition Council, participated in the procedure for the establishment of the regional platform for cooperation in the field of competition, which was attended by the heads of the competition authorities of 10 Central and Eastern European countries: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, the 2 candidate countries for accession to the European Union - the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.


At the event, the heads of the competition authorities of the 10 countries signed a Memorandum of Regional Cooperation in the field of competition policy, the aim of which is to develop and strengthen regional cooperation relations in the field of competition policy and competition law enforcement by exchanging experience at regional level and providing technical assistance to the national competition authorities of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in the context of their European journey.


The event was also attended by the Director-General of the European Commission's Competition Directorate (DG Comp), Olivier GUERSENT, the Head of the Competition Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Ori SCHWARTZ, the Head of the Competition and Consumer Protection Department of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Teresa MOREIRA, as well as representatives of the embassies of the signatory States.


The agenda of the event also included several panel discussions dedicated to prioritisation strategies in the work of competition authorities, issues related to external pressures on them, existing approaches to human resources development and capacity building of competition authorities. Thereby, participants shared their experience in the field, exchanging information on the challenges they face, the aspects of national legislation on the topics addressed, but in particular they proposed solutions and described success stories in achieving the proposed objectives and implementing best practices.


In particular, the participants addressed issues related to limited administrative resources, the increasing complexity of cases, existing strategies and practices in prioritising activities, the independence of competition authorities in relation to other authorities of the State.


In the context of the institutional capacity building panel, a number of common challenges were identified, such as limited resources, the departure of qualified staff to the private sector, the issue of ensuring institutional memory within the authority. Thus, the participants of the meeting concluded on the need to implement human resources development strategies, to strengthen cooperation relations with educational institutions in order to train specialists in the field, to organise and/or provide summer schools for both students and employees of different authorities.


Therewith, the signatories of the memorandum approved the action plan for 2023, which foresees the organisation of a series of training and exchange of experience events for the employees of the national competition authorities of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, organised under the chairmanship of the National Competition Authority of Poland. In the same vein, discussions were launched on the specific topics to be prioritised during the next year - 2024, when the presidency of this regional initiative will be held by the Competition Council of Romania.


In addition, an OECD workshop was held on 20 April 2023, bringing together representatives of competition authorities from Moldova, Ukraine and Poland. At the workshop, the Head of the OECD Competition Directorate, Ori SCHWARTZ, presented the main OECD competition policies and activities, the instruments and guidelines developed and applied and in particular the OECD Competition Review Toolkit.


The new regional cooperation platform will provide a reliable basis for supporting the implementation of the commitments undertaken in the context of the European course of the Republic of Moldova and will facilitate the achievement of the proposed objectives. 


 

 

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