What is Competition Advocacy
Competition advocacy includes CPC initiatives and opinion statements designed to promote market openness and foster competition by reforming and dismantling competitive restrictions.
The CPC powers in the field of competition advocacy are regulated in LPC (Art. 28). In order to protect free entrepreneurship initiative and prevent restriction or distortion of competition, the Commission conducts assessment of the conformity to the LPC provisions of:
· Drafts of legislative or regulatory administrative acts and general administrative acts;
· Current legislative or regulatory administrative acts and general administrative acts;
· Draft acts of associations of undertakings, regulating the activity of their members.
Pursuant to LPC the Commission exercises this power by:
· Proposing to the competent state and local governance authorities to repeal or amend administrative acts, issued by them, if they result or may result in prevention, restriction or distortion of competition (Art. 8, para. 6);
· Collaborate with state authorities, including executive power and local government authorities, as well as with institutions and NGOs by participation in the development of draft legislative acts, stating opinions on drafts, as well as on current legislative, regulatory and general administrative acts, exchange of information and other forms of cooperation (Art. 8, Para 12);
· Pronounces on other LPC related requests (Art.8, para.11);
Significance of the Opinions
CPC opinions on draft legislation, draft acts of associations of undertakings and proposals for repeal of effective regulatory acts issued in violation of LPC aim at providing protection and promoting conditions for fostering the competition and free entrepreneurship initiative.
The advantage of preliminary reviewing of draft legislation with the CPC is the more precise wording of the relevant provisions and minimizing the chance to adopt provisions that prevent, restrict or distort competition.
The power of CPC on assessment of current legislation constitutes an extremely important tool to abolish existing barriers to competition and in the event to improve the economic effectiveness of the markets.
CPC’s opinions have largely contributed to the success of the process of Bulgarian economy liberalization.
Collaboration with Other Authorities
CPC’s collaboration with sector regulators, law-enforcement institutions, other government agencies and business associations is an important precondition for efficient competition policy.
Pursuant to the Law on Protection of the Competition (LPC), the Commission is the authority, enforcing the legislation on protection of competition related to all fields of the economy. At the same time the special legislative framework Сempowers the sector regulators to exercise specific powers, among which imposition of regulatory measures, aimed at establishing and maintaining the conditions, necessary for competition development at the relevant markets. For example the Communication Regulation Commission is competent to research, analyze and prepare assessment on the level of competition of the relevant markets of electronic communication networks and/or services.
In order to avoid any acceptance of contradicting decisions of the competition authorities and the sector regulators, close cooperation between them is needed. In this regard CPC has signed Cooperation Agreements with the sector regulators. Efforts are being incurred to strengthen and intensify this collaboration through the exchange of information on the uniform and consistent enforcement of both the national and the European legislation.
Besides the sector regulators, CPC has also signed Cooperation Agreements with a number of other state bodies. The goal is to improve the information exchange and coordination between the authorities, which contributes to more effective performance of their powers.
The cooperation with the business organizations aims at undertaking joints steps for ensuring effective competition and free entrepreneurship initiative, expressed mostly in exchange of information and conducting joint initiatives to popularize the rules of competition.
CPC has signed Cooperation Agreements with:
· State Energy Regulatory Commission;
· Financial Supervision Commission;
· Communication Regulation Commission;
· Commission for Consumers Protection;
· State Commission on Gambling;
· State Stock Exchange and Commodities Commission;
· Privatization Agency;
· Post-Privatization Control Agency;
· Public Procurement Agency;
· Agency for economic Analyses and Projections;
· State Internal Financial Control Agency;
· State Receivables Agency;
· National Statistics Institute;
· Ministry of Interior;
· Ministry of Interior academy;
· Chief Prosecution;
· Chief Tax Directorate;
· Patent Office;
· Bulgarian Economic Chamber;
· Bulgarian Chamber of Trade and Industry;
· Confederation of the Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria;
· Economic Initiative Union;
· Bulgarian Union of Private Entrepreneurs “Vazrajdane”.