Policy Brief on the the commitments of the Republic of Moldova with respect to the EU in the area of competition
Summary of the analysis (ENG)
The Association Agreement has started to be applied provisionally since 1 September 2014, the terms set out in the chapters which have already entered into force began to run from this date.
The Association Agreement provides the possibility for dispute settlement including by addressing to the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the interpretation and application of the Agreement. Thus for a number of chapters, including Chapter 10 -‐ Competition (for the state aid section) enterprises from the EU in the Republic of Moldova will have the opportunity to act to defend their rights arising from the Association Agreement.
The Association Agreement in the part related to competition, establishes Moldova’s commitment to implement legislation effectively addressing anti-‐competitive agreements, abuse of dominance, mergers and acquisitions, effectively monitor the issuance of state aid, including the recovery of unlawful aid and creation of a functional independent authority with adequate human and financial resources.
The legislation in the competition field mostly implement key provisions of the competition field and state aid available at EU level. However, the Law on competition has no penalty measures in the form of fines as strict as in the EU, and the manner of recovery of state aid is not subject of a stringent recovery prescription, the authority, which authorized or issued the state aid is obliged to recover it. The Competition Council doesn’t issue directly enforceable acts on the recovery of state aid.
The Competition Council does not have a harmonized set of rules of procedure to clarify how the Council would act and which rights would ensure for enterprises when exercising powers: anti-‐competitive agreements, abuse of dominance, mergers acquisitions, licensing and state aid recovery. These rules of procedure are necessary to ensure clarity, among others, the right of defense that the enterprises have, including the case of inspections (dawn raids).
The Competition Council is expected to prioritize areas of intervention to protect competition and not just rely on complaints and notifications from businesses. A key area of priority for the Competition Council, including to measure the effectiveness of institutional efficiency is implementing policies to deter anti-‐ competitive agreements in the toughest forms (cartels). In this regard, the Competition Council should review the maximum levels of fines that they may apply to the business involved, including the use of significant coefficients for cases of recidivism from businesses. In those circumstances, the leniency policy the Competition Council will promote shall have much stronger attractiveness of enterprises.
This prioritization will have at least two essential positive effects: protection of consumer interests by less anti-‐competitive agreements and less abuses of dominant position, as well as strengthen the option of initiating collective actions to recover damages caused by businesses, part of anticompetitive conduct sanctioned by Competition Council’s through its final decisions.Fullscreen Mode