Regulation of competition legislation in Armenia | EUNewsletter

Regulation of competition legislation in Armenia

5 April 2013

The EU Competition and State Aid Twinning Project held its final conference on 13 March 2013. Over the last two years EU experts have helped the Armenian Competition Authority to improve its organisational structure and procedures, and have made recommendations on increasing the efficiency of the performance of the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition (SCPEC).
During the final conference, the Minister of Economy of Armenia, Tigran Davtyan, the SCPEC Chairman, Artak Shaboyan, the EU Ambassador to Armenia, Traian Hristea, the project leader, Wolf Dieter Plessing, as well as other conference participants presented and analysed the work done over the last two years.
Hristea underlined that the EU promoted fair competition in partner countries and that competition had been one of the crucial chapters in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Armenia: ‘Any country intending to be associated with the EU market must prepare its economy to cope with the competition. Through this Twinning project the EU has provided assistance to the Armenian authorities, the SCPEC, in order to approximate Armenian competition legislation to European standards’.

It was stressed that the support provided by the EU short-term experts had contributed to increased performance of the Commission, which has been reflected in a number of indicators. For example, the amount of fines imposed for anticompetitive actions in 2011 alone equalled the total of all fines imposed over the ten years of the Commission’s operation.

According to Shaboyan, since 2010 active efforts had been taken to fight
violations of competition law: ‘While in previous years the Commission adopted 20-30 decisions on imposing sanctions against undertakings, this indicator has reached 214 in 2012. The same goes for fines imposed. The total amount of fines imposed by the Commission on the undertakings is 350 million Armenian drams, yet for the previous years the amount was only 9-10 million’.

A crucial step has been made in regulating competition legislation. To improve existing Armenian legislation and bring it closer to EU standards, the EU experts drafted amendments to Armenian competition law and prepared a draft law on state aid control.

Within the framework of the twinning project a series of seminars and roundtable discussions were also organised to raise awareness among Armenian stakeholders about competition and state aid legislation, as well as study visits to EU member states’ competition authorities. These activities involved a total of 106 journalists, 156 members of staff from state institutions and non-governmental organisations, 28 judges, and 61 members of staff from regional authorities.

The project was implemented by a German-Lithuanian consortium, represented by the Federal Ministry of Germany and the Competition Council of Lithuania.

The total budget was €1.1 million.

Regulation of competition legislation in Armenia

The EU Competition and State Aid Twinning Project held its final conference on 13 March 2013. Over the last two years EU experts have helped the Armenian Competition Authority to improve its organisational structure and procedures, and have made recommendations on increasing the efficiency of the performance of the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition (SCPEC). During the final conference, the Minister of Economy of Armenia, Tigran Davtyan, the SCPEC Chairman, Artak Shaboyan, the EU Ambassador to Armenia, Traian Hristea, the project leader, Wolf Dieter Plessing, as well as other conference participants presented and analysed the work done over the last two years. Hristea underlined that the EU promoted fair competition in partner countries and that competition had been one of the crucial chapters in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement negotiations with Armenia: 'Any country intending to be associated with the EU market must prepare its economy to cope with the competition. Through this Twinning project the EU has provided assistance to the Armenian authorities, the SCPEC, in order to approximate Armenian competition legislation to European standards'. It was stressed that the support provided by the EU short-term experts had contributed to increased performance of the Commission, which has been reflected in a number of indicators. For example, the amount of fines imposed for anticompetitive actions in 2011 alone equalled the total of all fines imposed over the ten years of the Commission’s operation. According to Shaboyan, since 2010 active efforts had been taken to fight violations of competition law: 'While in previous years the Commission adopted 20-30 decisions on imposing sanctions against undertakings, this indicator has reached 214 in 2012. The same goes for fines imposed. The total amount of fines imposed by the Commission on the undertakings is 350 million Armenian drams, yet for the previous years the amount was only 9-10 million'. A crucial step has been made in regulating competition legislation. To improve existing Armenian legislation and bring it closer to EU standards, the EU experts drafted amendments to Armenian competition law and prepared a draft law on state aid control. Within the framework of the twinning project a series of seminars and roundtable discussions were also organised to raise awareness among Armenian stakeholders about competition and state aid legislation, as well as study visits to EU member states’ competition authorities. These activities involved a total of 106 journalists, 156 members of staff from state institutions and non-governmental organisations, 28 judges, and 61 members of staff from regional authorities. The project was implemented by a German-Lithuanian consortium, represented by the Federal Ministry of Germany and the Competition Council of Lithuania. The total budget was €1.1 million.