The preparation of Romanian business environment for the new European competition

This project was designed to consolidate the REGENT Centre - ( ) - created in June 2001, especially the projects aimed to support the partnerships between public authorities and private & NGO sector organisations from national/ regional capitals in EU and CEEC in the field of accelerating the European integration process. Also, we planed to provide a practical impact and follow-up to other two initiatives supported in the past by the DG Education and DG Press of the European Commission: the research study and advocacy campaign “Europeanisation - ( ) - of Romania through Regional Development and Diversity“ (2001-2002), and the EU PROCESS ACADEMY - ( ) - an intensive training programme for CEE experts in European integration, deployed on the basis of the White Paper on Good Governance and the Convention on the Future of Europe documents (started in April 2002 in Sinaia, and continued in July 2003 in Timisoara).

The project related to the priority regarding the implementation and enforcement of the internal market acquis in the Phare programme countries. Its aim is to provide a consistent follow-up to the recently deployed European Conference on Competition through a permanent confrontation of the case of Romania with other CEE experiences in the field of its efforts to eliminate the barriers for the free movement of services and improve the free movement of capitals , aimed to generate a stable, coherent and cohesive information, communication, mutual assistance and consultation impartial system for promoting the EU liberalisation/competition policies . The identified target groups are located in seven Central Eastern European countries (CEEC) and are composed from experts of the general and specialised regulatory bodies, corporate members of the chambers of commerce, employer organisations and concerned professional associations etc.

The project was placed in the context of the simultaneous accession of 10 Candidate-States in May 2004, and of the preparation of Candidate States for a second wave of enlargement, as well as of accelerating the enforcement of the internal market acquis in the other CEEC.

Through this project we aim the following overall objectives:

in order to improve and accelerate the enforcing of the Single Market acquis, to raise awareness of the Central-Eastern European and EU target-groups on the new challenges, promoting the demonopolisation process and the principles of the competition culture, the protection and development of a more effective competition , the EU-type business discipline and EU standards of competition environment transparency ;

in order to closer the EU integration, to couple the administrative preparation with a mix focused competition advocacy tools , vital for an equally harmonised and encouraging competitive environment on the Single Market;
in order to make more visible the European Union in the target countries, to deepen the policies, requirements and guiding activities of the European Commission/the Economic and Social Committee in the concerned field and, on this basis, according to the presented EU practices and standards , to advocate for a sound legislative framework and a transparent and deterrent implementation in the concerned countries.

Adopting a cross border co-operation approach, in view of fulfilling a deeper socio-economic regional integration, the specific objective of our action is to confront the case of Romania with other CEE experiences in terms of  eliminating the barriers for the free movement of services and improving the free movement of capitals , aimed to generate a stable, coherent and cohesive information, communication, mutual assistance and consultation impartial and innovative system for promoting the EU liberalisation/competition policies.

In terms of priorities issues for 2004, the competition policy represents an essential dimension of the whole European accession process within the European Single Market. As such, we are decided to concentrate on the effectiveness of enforcing/ implementation operations. This could be attained through both the full harmonisation of the competition and State aid policy and rules, according to the EU legislative framework in the above mentioned field (including economic regulations, privatisation, antitrust measures, State aid supervision, international trade). In order to implement the competition policy and rules within the structural reform, we consider that a special attention must be paid to the links between Chapter 6 - Competition Policy - and other more demanding chapters of the Single Market acquis, implied by the preparation of CEE companies and involved bodies/authorities for a free and fair pan-European and global competition, and a for achieving a stronger socio-economic cohesion of the acceding countries involving various fields (energy, industrial policy or regional policy).

Using the mediation of our NGO advocacy and mediation capabilities, and choosing Romania as a main study-case of the project, to be framed and confronted with other more advanced CEE economies/reforms of the competition system, we believe to give our specific contribution to the supporting efforts of EU and to the acceleration of the entire integration process in our region.

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