On April 7th 2017 JPM Partner Nikola Poznanović and Senior Associate Bojana Javorić attended the Annual Competition Day organized by the Commission for Protection of Competition. The event was arranged as international conference under the working title “Challenges in the Implementation of Competition Policy on the Path towards the EU”.
The panel discussions have seen more than 100 participants, 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.
During his opening speech, Dr. Miloje Obradović announced adoption of the new competition law in Serbia in near future, which shall enable more efficient work of the Commission and more adequately regulate competition law with the primary intention to avoid inconsistencies with the EU competition law.
The main topic of the conference was the harmonization of the Serbian Competition law with the EU law, where the panelists emphasized the necessity to further regulate the leniency program in Serbia and harmonize a set of subordinated acts with the EU law, such as directive on block exemption and adoption of sector-specific directives.
In regard to the second conference topic, the EU damages directive, most relevant issues for the member states include: implementation of the EU damages directive/ special laws in the member states; very few cases before the member states’ commercial courts; and challenging aspects of damage-quantification.
The member states may address the mentioned issues by formation of special courts, with judges specifically trained in competition law, following the example of Italian court practice, as suggested at the conference by Mr. Gianluca Sepe.
It is to be seen how the Republic of Serbia and its competent bodies will address the matters raised at the conference, including further harmonization of remaining inconsistencies with the EU law.