The Romanian Competition Council launched, on April 8, 2014, both the “2013 Annual Activity Report”, and OECD Report entitled “Peer-Review of competition law and policy in Romania”. The event was hosted at Howard Johnson Hotel, Platinum Conference Room .
Allow us to highlight the fact that the “2013 Annual Activity Report” of the Romanian Competition Council undoubtedly proves the accumulated experience by refining its working practices and delivering decisions in a more timely manner without reducing quality, improving the methodology for analysis, reconfirming the impact of the promotion of the competition culture on the relevant markets and the worthwhile contribution to our economic performance, by tackling competition problems and encouraging compliance, struggling to deploy resources more effectively and flexibly across its significant work.
The Prime Minister of Romania, Victor Ponta, has attended for the second time the presentation of the Annual Activity Report of the Competition Council (http://gov.ro/en/news/pm-victor-ponta-has-attended-the-presentation-of-the-annual-activity-report-of-the-competition-council). From the very beginning, the Prime Minister of Romania, Victor Ponta, congratulated the President of the Romanian Competition Council, Bogdan M. Chiritoiu, for the excellent initiative of establishing a good partnership with the Competition Council of the Republic of Moldova (represented at the event by the President Viorica Carare), and expressed: his appreciation for the good co-operation between the Government and the Competition Council in favor of the Romanian consumer, Romanian Competition Council acting on the market as a true impartial arbitrator, with professionalism and discretion; the importance of observing the competition rules; the great challenge, the reform of the energy market without affecting the consumers and avoiding the negative consequences in the social and budgetary sectors, and on the external competitiveness of our country; the real need of having an independent institution that supports the development of our society; the continuous support of the Romanian Government for the Romanian Competition Authority.
The President of the Romanian Competition Council, Bogdan M. Chiritoiu, thanked the Prime Minister of Romania, Victor Ponta, for the governmental support and confirmed the responsible involvement of the Romanian Competition Authority in a more pro-active enforcement approach and in prioritizing significant cases in accordance with the potential benefit to our consumers and relevant markets, and continuously focusing on monitoring the key economic sectors and on protecting the competitive environment so as to increase the productivity and the efficiency of the Romanian economy. He also underlined the value of the OECD Report which assessed the development and the application of competition law and policy in Romania (this report being the basis of a two and half hour peer review in the OECD Global Forum on Competition on February 27, 2014).
Mr. Frederic Jenny, Professor of economics, ESSEC Business School, Chairman OECD Competition Committee, confirmed that the Romanian Competition Council (RCC) is focused on improving the enforcement regime, and approached the “Future directions of Action Following the OECD Peer-Review of Romania’s competition law”, highlighting the necessity of ensuring continuity and the systematic implementation of reforms of the competition regime, and underlining different policy recommendations such as: on cartel enforcement, on mergers, RCC’s independency, reconsidering the RCC’s enforcement powers in unfair competition law, possible reforms concerning territorial offices of the RCC, providing a relatively more competitive salary scheme in order to retain crucial staff, keeping focus on electricity and gas markets and strengthening RCC’s expertise, building a positive work relationship with ANRE.
Mr. Gert-Jan Koopman, Deputy Director General, State Aid Department, DG Competition, European Commission, highlighted the importance of competition policy and law (market reforms depending on appropriate competition policy and law, and competition leading to competitiveness), and of controlling State aid which prevents distortions of Common market, avoid subsidy race, and preserve level playing field. He also pointed to the fact that: on April 9 (next day), the European Commission will adopt new rules on public support for environmental protection and energy, the significant guidelines promoting a gradual move to market-based support for renewable energy (supporting Member States in reaching their 2020 climate targets, and providing criteria on how Member States can relieve energy intensive companies that are particularly exposed to international competition from charges levied for the support of renewables), while including new provisions on aid to energy infrastructure and generation capacity to strengthen the internal energy market and ensure security of supply; it is also foreseen that several categories of environmental and energy aid measures will be included in the upcoming revision of the General Block Exemption Regulation, which will be adopted in May 2014 and enter into force on 1 July 2014 parallel to the guidelines.
The day after the Annual Activity Report launch, on April 9, 2014, the meeting of the Advisory Board of the Romanian Competition Council took place. The event was hosted at Howard Johnson Hotel, Arizona Conference Room. As it is well-known throughout the “competition family”, the meetings of the Advisory Board of the Romanian Competition Council are a traditional opportunity to share ideas on competition policy and to receive feedback on these ideas and policy visions within the strong commitment of promoting the competition culture in full process of the effective implementation of the competition policy. And, as usual, the meeting of April 9, 2014 proved to be a pragmatic exchange of views carried out between, on one hand, the President of the Romanian Competition Council, Bogdan M. Chiritoiu and some of the other members of the Board – Otilian B. Neagoe, Dan N. Ionescu, Lazlo Gyerko, Bujor-Bogdan Teodoriu – and on the other hand, the majority of the Advisory Board of the Romanian Competition Council – Anca Harasim, Florin Pogonaru, Cristian Parvan, Costel Stanciu, Flavius-Antoniu Baias, Adriana Almaşan, Jonathan Scheele, Steven van Groningen, Gabriela Ţigu, Mihai Berinde, Theodor Valentin Purcarea, Viorel Munteanu, Natalia Roman, Violeta Alexandru, Sorin Mindrutescu, Lucian Croitoru, Sorin Ionita. The technical Secretariat organizing the works of the Advisory Board of the Romanian Competition Council was ensured by Simona Barbu and George Anglitoiu with their already known rigor and professionalism.