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The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Competition

Candidate countries conduct negotiations with the European Union (EU) in order to prepare themselves for accession. The accession negotiations cover the adoption and implementation of European legislation (acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

ACT

Commission Report – [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

SUMMARY

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union (EU) in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country's preparations for its future accession and the aligning of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, negotiations for accession had not yet started since some progress still needed to be made with regard to the objectives and conditions defined within the framework of the Partnership.

The 2011 Report highlights the substantial progress made on matters of competition. However, in certain areas such as cartels, anti-trust and mergers, improvements still need to be made.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The legislation on competition covers both anti-trust and state aid control policies. It includes rules and procedures for fighting anti-competitive behaviour by companies (restrictive agreements between undertakings and abuse of dominant position), monitoring mergers and for preventing governments from granting state aid which distorts competition in the internal market. Generally, the competition rules are directly applicable throughout the Union, and Member States must cooperate fully with the Commission in the enforcement of these rules.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Some progress was made in the area of competition. The enforcement record has quantitatively improved in the field of mergers and State aid, but remains weak in the field of cartels. The quality of the decisions in the area of State aid needs to be further improved. The Commission for Protection of Competition does not have adequate budgetary resources and staff in the area of anti-trust and mergers.

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
In its 2010 Report, the Commission noted insufficient reforms in the areas of cartels and mergers. However, progress had been made to align the legislation relating to State aid. The Commission for the Protection of Competition must further increase the personnel resources responsible for ensuring compliance with the competition rules.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2008 Report highlights good progress in aligning antitrust legislation, concerning mergers and State aid. The report notes however weaknesses in the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) which lacks competent staff and adequate funding.

Last updated: 20.12.2011

See also

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