The aim of the protection of market competition is primarily to create benefits for consumers and equal conditions for all entrepreneurs on the market, who, acting in accordance with the existing rules and competing on the market with the quality, price and innovation of their products and services, contribute to the overall development of the economy.

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Ukrainian competition authority visits CCA within EU project on competition and state aid in Ukraine

The Croatian Competition Agency is hosting a delegation from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) visiting Croatia for a one-week study trip dedicated to help further strengthen Ukraine’s competition framework.

The Ukrainian delegation is participating in meetings with the representatives of the CCA, who will introduce them to the internal organization and powers of the CCA, its practices with the European and international institutions, methods used in detecting infringements in restrictive agreements and abuse of a dominant position in Croatia, assessment of concentrations, practices in the media sector and on digital markets, whereas discussions will also be held on future cooperation prospects.

This five-day visit to the CCA and other relevant Croatian institutions is part of the EU-funded “Competition and State Aid Rules Alignment with EU Acquis” (COMPASA) Project that was officially launched to bolster competition and State aid regulations in Ukraine. This three-year initiative will help the Antimonopoly AMCU to align Ukraine’s legal framework with the EU standards, following the opening of the accession negotiations between Ukraine and the EU in December 2023.

Namely, on 14 December 2023, the European Council approved the European Commission’s recommendation to open accession negotiations with Ukraine, in accordance with Article 256 of the Association Agreement. Ukraine committed to aligning its competition legislation and its application with the EU law. In this context, studying the practical experience of other member states is crucial for the AMCU.

The COMPASA Project is expected to play a pivotal role in assisting Ukraine in meeting the requirements deriving from Ukraine`s status of a candidate country. In the context of Ukraine’s perspective of the EU membership, the Project will be instrumental in helping Ukraine implement the Commission Opinion on its accession negotiations concerning the alignment of its competition framework and State aid control system with the EU law. COMPASA encompasses two main substantial activity areas: competition – which includes antitrust and mergers’ control, vital for fostering fair competition and economic growth, and State aid – ensuring a robust framework for State aid control, promoting transparency, and facilitating Ukraine’s economic development.

As a result, a study visit of the AMCU representatives to the Republic of Croatia and relevant institutions has been organized from 22-26 April 2024, aiming to strengthen the capacity of Ukrainian experts. Among other issues, it will help them understand how the youngest EU member state managed to undertake competition and State aid reforms and close relevant negotiating chapters. Croatia’s experience in transposing European standards and facing challenges during the accession phase offers a wealth of lessons learned and best practices that can assist the AMCU in developing its own approach to adopting the EU acquis.

This initiative of the study visit underscores the AMCU’s commitment to continuous improvement in competition regulation and international cooperation and excellence. The COMPASA Project is a joint effort aimed at improving Ukraine’s alignment with EU standards, despite the brutal aggression the country faces. It is an example of the European Union’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s European aspirations.