On September 10, the management of the Baltic Competition Authorities meets in Riga to discuss current competition law issues in the Baltic States and to discuss cooperation, joint projects, and possible market analysis and studies.
One of the Baltic Competition Authorities meeting goals is to share experience on changes in national regulations related to each country's obligation to adopt into national laws the ECN+ Directive adopted both by the European Parliament and the Council. The ECN+ Directive requires national competition authorities to be provided with the necessary powers, guarantees of independence, and resources to prevent infringements of competition law. Also, Baltic Competition Authorities are planning to exchange experience in transposing into national regulation the European Union (EU) Directive, which provides EU farmers and agri-food businesses with protection against unfair practices and trade.
On the agendas of competition supervisors of all three Baltic States issues with cross-border implications are becoming more frequent. Thus, at the conference, it is planned to discuss current market trends, infringement cases and market studies, and mergers that affect the entire Baltic market.
Juris Gaiķis, the Chairman of the Latvian Competition Council: “The Baltic Competition Authorities often face similar competition law challenges, that can be effectively addressed through active cooperation between all three countries. So far, we have regularly exchanged information with our neighbours and have also cooperated in joint investigation and training, so this meeting in Riga, both with the experience exchange of experts and discussions on jointly planned activities in the future, is another step towards a more harmonized competition environment in the Baltics.”
Märt Ots, the Director General of the Estonian Competition Authority, strongly agrees that as we see further integration of Baltic markets in terms of the one of the core principles of the EU – free movement of goods and services, it is of great importance to strengthen the cooperation between competition authorities.
Šarūnas Keserauskas, Chairman of the Lithuanian competition authority, also supported strengthening of cooperation between the Baltic competition authorities, which is especially relevant due to increasing digitalisation across the markets. “Baltic competition authorities, as relatively small agencies, would gain a lot from combining their efforts and trying to find the most effective way of dealing with digital issues,” said Šarūnas Keserauskas.
During the meeting of the Baltic Competition Authorities, it is also planned to discuss possible further closer co-operation of the competition authorities in various topical markets, incl. digital market, joint research.