The 7th meeting of the Sofia Competition Forum (SCF) was held on 12 November 2015 in Sofia. This event marked the third year since the SCF establishment in 2012 as a joint initiative of UNCTAD and the Bulgarian competition authority. The SCF aims to assist agencies from the Balkan region in enforcing their competition regimes, as well as to provide a platform for technical assistance, exchange of experience and consultations in the field of competition policy and enforcement.
The SCF report on “Comparative overview of the Balkan competition regimes”, which was jointly elaborated in 2014 by all SCF beneficiaries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia), provided an analysis of the institutional, substantive and procedural aspects of the jurisdictions in the region and outlined future topics for discussion within the SCF.
The report highlighted the issues on sanctions in competition cases and leniency policy as some of the most challenging for the countries in the region. This is why the general topic of the 7th SCF meeting was “Sanctioning in competition cases and leniency policy”. The SCF members had the opportunity to discuss these issues with speakers from UNCTAD, DG Competition of the European Commission, the Court of the European Union and the competition authorities of Japan, Lithuania, Turkey, Austria and Italy as well as representatives of the legal community, academia and judiciary. The guests at the forum included also representatives of the competition authorities of Romania, Russia, Georgia and others. The SCF members saw the differences in their sanctioning and leniency policies in practice on the basis of a hypothetical case study.
The findings and conclusions of the SCF report “Comparative overview of the Balkan competition jurisdictions in the field of inspections on spot” were also presented. At the end of the meeting the first issue of the annual SCF Newsletter was presented.