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Policy Forum - The culture of fair competition in Albania

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On 14th December 2011, European Movement Albania in cooperation with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) organized a policy forum"The Culture of fair competition in Albania". The guests at this forum were: Mrs.. Lindita (Milo) Lati, Chair of the Competition Authority and Mr. Gjergj Buxhuku, representative of Confindustria. The forum brought together representatives of state regulatory institutions, business community and the academic world, who discussed the policies of competition and its problems.

Forum opened with welcoming EMAS Executive Director, Mr. Gladis Gjipali, who stressed that this activity serves the transmission of information and debate to the general public without restricting it in small groups of experts. The economic dimension is a new oasis of inspiration for EMA which will be used further to bring deeper and quality analysis in this regard.

To emphasize the importance of economic criteria, FES Director for Albania Mr. Michael Weichert, brought the example of the electoral campaign of the 1992 U.S. elections which brought the change in the results of the focus on the economy. He noted that since in the past two years public opinion is still saturated with news and information on the political situation, the return of attention to issues related to the direct interest of each of us takes on particular significance, EMA encouraged to n to be deepened even more in this direction.

Ms.Lindita (Milo) Lati, President of the Competition Authority made a detailed presentation of the philosophy on which the institution operates. It focused in particular on efficient mechanisms for increasing competition in the Albanian culture as an indicator of positive developments. According to Ms. Lati work of the Competition Authority has been growing from year to year refering to the number of decisions and issues raised by business and handled by the Authority.

Meanwhile Confindustria representative, Mr. Gjergj Buxhuku during his speech stressed the importance of competition as one of the main pillars on which the capitalist economy rests. Buxhuku conveyed to the audience, the problems of the community associated with the existence of monopoly or oligopoly. This is due to a small and poor market which potentially allows the emergence of non-competitive elements. Services sector and that of imports from abroad remain problematic sectors of the Albanian economy that should be targeted during the Authority's work. According to Mr. Buxhuku, the degree of competition directly related to the possibility that the market offers various operators to operate in a market economy.

Also during the developing of Forum, Mr Evis Kopliku, researcher at the EMA. presented the main findings of “The culture of fair competition in Albania", prepared by a group of experts. The paper provides a comprehensive overview of recent developments on competition policy in Albania, identifying key factors that hinder the development of a culture of fair competition and appropriate balance between market actors. A particular focus in the paper is devoted to the role of institutions in the framework of fair competition protection and throws light on the instruments at their disposal to enhance the culture of competition to public bodies, business community and citizens (consumers) in general.

Policies Forum was followed by a discussion session with representatives of the Competition Authority, other regulatory bodies, business community and academics discussed together on competition policy and its problems in the Albanian reality. Policy Forum was featured in the press and visual media. (Source: EMA – European Movement Albania

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