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EU supports Serbia in boosting market competition

The EU has approved €2 million for a project aimed at strengthening competition in Serbian industry.

The project is expected to be implemented over the next two years.

In return, the Competition Commission must enable the implementation of European standards in the field by preparing the necessary supplements and amendments to law.

Unlike most countries in the region, the Serbian Competition Commission does not have the power to sanction violations financially.

Because of this, it is up to the courts to rule whether there are monopolies present in cases such as Delta and Salford.

The Commission says that some parts of the law need to be altered, as they have been in Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

“Our system is based on a strict division of powers where only the courts hand out sanctions. Agencies and other bodies are not supposed to. This has not proved to be a good solution and an exception needs to be made to these rules,” says Commission President Dijana Bajalović Marković.

Citizens should be able to feel the existence of strong competition on the domestic market.

Head of the European Commission Delegation to Serbia Josep Lloveras believes that this is the only way to have quality products at a low price.

“I am glad that awareness of this is increasing in Serbia. I see it in the media, which is stressing the importance of competitiveness, in cases such as the price of milk, retail, distribution, taxi services. Those are the main topics that interest people,” Lloveras said.

The European Agency for Reconstruction has invested over €10 million thus far in developing competition and protecting intellectual property, and new projects are under preparation valued at about €5 million. (B92)