The project funded by the EU "Strengthening of Capacity to Manage and Enforce the EU Competition and State Aid Policies" worth EUR 1.5 million has been successfully completed after 22 months of implementation. The achievements of the project have been presented on Wendsday in the Delegation of the EC to the Republic of Croatia by the Head of Operations Section Mr Paolo Berizzi, the president of the Croatian Competition Council Mrs Olgica Spevec, and the representatives of the competent German authorities.
The overall objective of the project was to improve competition and state aid policy in the Republic of Croatia aimed at effective implementation of the relevant Croatian rules in line with the EU rules and practice. The partners of the Croatian Competition Agency on this project were the Ministry of the Economy and Technology of the Federal Republic of Germany and the competent German competition authority - the Bundeskartellamt. The project activities started in April 2007 and ended in February 2009.
The main objectives of the project were to improve the competition and the state aid regime in Croatia, through further alignment of the Croatian competition rules with the relevant EU rules. To this end new Competition Act has been drafted, and further institutional capacity building achieved. In cooperation with the German partner the existing competition regime has been evaluated and a new data management system introduced. Further training of the experts of the Agency, judges and lawyers has successfully been implemented.
In the area of state aid the project activities were focused on the establishment of a comprehensive state aid list, the review of the regional aid and the establishment of the regional aid map, consultations on restructuring of the firms in difficulty in the shipbuilding and steel sector and their privatisation, training of judges and local administration representatives.
During the project German and Slovenian state aid experts visited Croatia whereas the Croatian experts were given the opportunity to visit the German Bundeskartellamt, Ministry of Finance and Economy and other specific regulators in Bonn and Berlin.
Besides the Croatian Competition Agency other competent authorities have also participated in the project, such as the Judicial Academy, Croatian Bar Association, specific regulators, Ministry of the Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship, Ministry of Finance and other aid providers.
The project produced the desired results and successfully assisted the Croatian experts in the areas concerned. Hence, it provides a sound basis for further cooperation between the German and Croatian companies.