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Representing internationally the Competition Council`s image and facilitating exchange of experience in the field of competition and state aid are one of the basic dimensions of functioning of the Authority.
During the years 2012 -2013 several activities have been conducted that contributed to the development and diversification of the Competition Council`s collaborative relationships both within the international and regional structures for competition, as well as with its counterparts in other countries.
Competition Council has performed a pro-active role within international structures aimed at promoting competition culture and capacity building in the world competition authorities such as the International Competition Network (ICN), Regional Centre for Competition in Budapest OECD (CRC) Interstate Council for Antimonopoly Policy (ICAP) of Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Energy Community (EC), the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Competition (EMCN), BRICS Countries Network on Competition (Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa), etc.
The collaborative projects with the European Union and the World Bank Group, as strategic partners for development have a considerable share in the international relations of the Competition Council.
»» Collaboration with the World Bank Group (WBG)
The Competition Council has received technical assistance from the WBG during all its activity. This assistance was manifested through seminars, trainings, individual and collective consultations on various investigations, etc.
In this context, the technical assistance under the World Bank Competitiveness Enhancement Project (CEP I) was aimed at improving the legislative framework on competition and building the institutional capacity of authority.
Also, during the 2013 negotiations have been held with the representatives of the WBG to include in the framework of the second project of the World Bank Competitiveness Enhancement (CEP II), expected to be launched in late 2014, activities designed to promote competition by identifying barriers to competition in those sectors and markets where lack of competitive conditions hinder the development of competition in local and international businesses. It is essential to develop recommendations for improving national legislation to remove barriers to competition and organizing advocacy activities and trainings for judges on implementation of competition law and state aid.
Also, at the end of 2013 another Project of WBG started, whose beneficiary is the Competition Council. The main objective of this project is to create an online information portal for state aid, which will ensure transparency of granting and usage of granted state aid, and respectively, a more efficient allocation of state resources. All the market players will benefit of the results of the Project.
It is important to note that competition advocacy activities conducted by the Competition Council during 2013 were assessed in the Contest launched by the World Bank Group, and the Competition Council was selected for an Honorable Mention in the thematic category of “Raising awareness of private sector stakeholders and empowering consumers to deter anticompetitive behavior”.
The aim of this contest was to highlight the role of competition in promoting competition culture. Within the contest success stories of competition authorities around the world were presented, including the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova.
The success stories have been focused on the activities conducted by the competition authorities to promote and encourage a competitive business environment not through mechanisms of coercion but by promoting good relations with other public entities and increasing awareness of the society on the competition benefits.
The WBG Honorable Mention is particularly important for the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova, being the result of joint efforts by the whole team of the competition authority in Moldova for the successful implementation of the actions and policies and also the evidence of international appreciation of these actions.
»» Cooperation within the OECD Regional Centre for Competition in Budapest (RCC)
CRC goal is oriented to expanding access of non-OECD countries in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe to OECD competition activities. In this regard, the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova has been constantly benefited of RCC support from April 2007.
During the years 2012-2013 the Competition Council personnel has participated in international thematic seminars organized with the support of RCC, the purpose of which was focused mainly on the dissemination of best practices and international advanced experience with respect to mergers, abuse of dominance, cartel policy, competitive and regulated sectors.
The gained experience by the experts of the Competition Council served as a support for their work within the authority, especially in order to align policy documents to international standards.
Also, participation in these international events helped to establish useful contacts for the continuous exchange of experience with representatives of other competition authorities around the world, which is an effective tool to improve current and future activity of the Competition Council.
»» Cooperation within the International Competition Network (ICN)
ICN is a network that brings together competition authorities around the world. The purpose of this international structure is to provide methodological and practical support to competition authorities to implement competition policy, to promote competition culture as well as to facilitate cooperation between authorities.
Within ICN, the Competition Council participated both in working groups in which various issues were discussed such as the implementation of competition policy, mergers and cartels as well as in Annual Conferences that represent a genuine platform for addressing the most pressing problems that competition authorities are facing, and possible solutions to them.
»» The Partnership with European Union
The partnerships with the competition authorities of European Union Member States facilitate the adjusting of national competition law and state aid to the acquis communautaire.
Under the Twinning project "Support to Implementation and Enforcement of competition and state aid policy" funded by the European Union, the Competition Council benefited of technical assistance for developing the legal framework on competition and state aid, the final point of which was the adoption of Law no. 139 of 15.06.2012 on State Aid and Competition Law no. 183 of 11.07.2012, as well as the regulations for their implementation.
European Union provided considerable support though this project giving consultancy for developing a completely new legal framework on competition and state aid, which places Moldova among the top CIS countries in terms of opportunities to ensure and promote a healthy competition environment, Moldova being the first and the only country in this region that has a law on State Aid.
To ensure the implementation of these laws during the reporting period were developed and submitted for consideration to the EU Delegation in Chisinau few requests for projects, including:
- Request for a new Twinning project on state aid (expected for 2015);
- Request for Technical Assistance Project on Competition (expected 2014);
- Request for TAIEX project - study visit to the Hungarian Competition Authority, to exchange experiences with regard to the implementation of competition law and state aid (expected for 2014).
»» Cooperation within the Interstate Council for Antimonopoly Policy (ICAP) of the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
Cooperation with CIPA is mainly characterized by the Competition Council's participation in regular CIPA meetings that are convoked twice a year, each CIS member country hosting the event by rotation.
During these meetings the Competition Council has the role of promoter of European competition policy.
Also in the period of reference, the Competition Council experts participated at thematic seminars organized under CIPA as well as in working groups where they performed a useful exchange of information and experience with similar representatives of the CIS countries, on competition in the food, oil, pharmaceutical, telecommunications markets, etc.
This allowed discussing the problems the competition authorities of the CIS member states are facing, including the Competition Council of the Republic, and addressing them in the most efficient way.
»» Bilateral Cooperation
During the reporting period many activities were conducted that contributed to developing and diversifying the Competition Council`s cooperation partnerships with its foreign counterparts.
In order to achieve the European vector of foreign policy of the Republic of Moldova, the Competition Council has undertaken a series of actions directed to the initiation, development and deepening the cooperation with EU countries, including Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Romania, Hungary, etc.
In the context of Moldovan-Estonian competition partnership, the study visit to Tallinn, contributed to assimilating the best practices of Estonian Competition Authority in the field of competition law enforcement.
With reference to the Moldovan-Romanian competition partnership, cooperation relations have been performed under the Cooperation Agreement on Competition Policy between the Competition Council of Romania (CCR) and the National Agency for Protection of Competition of the Republic of Moldova, signed on 19.11.2007 in Bucharest. In this context, multiple study visits were paid in Bucharest, the purpose of which was to take experience from the similar authority in Romania with regard to application of Community law on competition and state aid.
In the context of the transition from ANPC to the Competition Council, a particular relevance had the exchange of experience with the competition authority in Latvia for strengthening the institutional capacity of the Competition Council.
Also, in 2012-2013 were conducted joint activities in bilateral relations with competition authorities of CIS countries, such as Armenia, Ukraine, etc.
With reference to the Moldovan-Ukrainian competition and state aid partnership is notable the participation of Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova delegation at the joint session of the Competition Authority and deputies of Ukraine Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in March 2013, where Moldova`s experience with regard to the adjustment of state aid legislation with the acquis communautaire was introduced.
»» Bilateral Agreements