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Slovakia

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2004 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 703 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 511 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 711 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1754 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1754 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1410 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1209 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its July 1997 Opinion, the Commission took the view that the harmonisation of Slovak legislation on restrictive agreements was progressing satisfactorily and would be complete within a few years. It also stated that the anti-monopoly office seemed to have the powers and resources necessary to enforce competition law, but that the most important challenge would nevertheless be to ensure that the law was applied to all undertakings, including those regarded as essential and strategic.
In the field of State aid, however, the Commission took the view that a considerable effort would be necessary to meet the Community requirements applicable to State aid control over the medium term and that many reforms were needed to establish the necessary transparency, to bring the existing State aid schemes into line with the Europe Agreement and to adopt rules for the efficient functioning of the authority monitoring State aid. It also stressed that the aid inventory should cover all schemes financed by central, regional or local authorities and all schemes drawing on state resources and that the rules on State aid should apply to all undertakings, including those in the so-called basic and strategic industries.

The November 1998 Report stated that Slovakia had made little progress in meeting the short-term priorities of the Accession Partnership in the State aid field. Considerable efforts needed to be made to adopt State aid legislation and further progress was needed in the anti-trust field.

In its October 1999 Report, the Commission indicated that the new State Aid Law was a significant step forward. It also noted progress in the collection of regional statistics. However, improvements were still needed in anti-trust legislation and in the annual State aid report and inventory. Slovakia also had to ensure that the State Aid Law was implemented and that the state-aid monitoring authority was fully operational.

The November 2000 Report put emphasis on the entry into force, in January, of the new antitrust law and the new law on State aid which set up the surveillance authority. However, more progress should be made in order to reach full alignment with the Community acquis.

The November 2001 Report found that Slovakia had made progress in two main areas of the competition policy (namely, antitrust and State aid). However, more effort needed to be put into the implementation of the State Aid Law.

The October 2002 Report recorded that Slovakia had continued to progress in this area but that it should make further efforts to implement the state aid rules and to combat monopolies.

The November 2003 Report notes that Slovakia is meeting the majority of the commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations in the area of antitrust measures and state aid. As regards state aid, however, Slovakia should pay particular attention to raising awareness of the rules among all market participants and all bodies granting aid.

COMMUNITYACQUIS

European Community rules on competition stem from Article 3(g) of the Treaty, which states that the activities of the Community shall include "a system ensuring that competition in the internal market is not distorted". The main areas of application are restrictive agreements and State aid.

The Europe Agreement with Slovakia, which came into force on 1 February 1995, provides for a competition regime to be applied in trade relations between the Community and Slovakia based on the requirements set out in Articles 81, 82 and 87 of the EC Treaty (ex-Articles 85, 86 and 92) concerning agreements between undertakings, abuses of dominant position and State aid, and for implementing rules in these fields to be adopted within three years of the entry into force of the Agreement.

Furthermore, the Agreement requires Slovakia to make its rules on competition compatible with those of the Community.

The White Paper refers to the progressive application of the above provisions and of those contained in the merger Regulation (4064/89) and Articles 31 (ex-Article 37) and 86 (ex-Article 90) concerning monopolies and special rights of the EC Treaty.

EVALUATION

Slovakia has moved quickly to establish a legislative and institutional framework compatible with that of the European Union while at the same time proceeding with privatisation so as to reduce the role of the State in the economy.

The current anti-trust legislation is largely in line with the existing Community acquis.

Overall a revised law on State aid, which came into force in November 2001, aligns Slovak legislation with the Community acquis relating to State aid. However, Slovakia should nevertheless pay special attention to raising awareness among all market participants and bodies granting aid.

With regard to administrative capacities, the office for combating State aid and the office for supervisory State aid are operating in the appropriate manner. Supervision with regard to compliance with the rules is progressing but should be stepped up further.

Slovakia benefits from two transitional periods during which tax aid can be granted, subject to certain conditions, to one company in the steel sector (to be discontinued at the end of 2009 at the latest) and to one company in the automotive sector (to be discontinued by the end of 2008). There are serious doubts about compliance with the condition regarding production limitation in the steel sector, however.

Negotiations on this chapter are still continuing. In order to complete preparations for accession, Slovakia must endeavour to ensure that the conditions relating to the transitional period in the steel sector are met.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

 
Last updated: 03.03.2004
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