Building the capacity of competition authorities

By Lorenzo Ciari

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The development of sound and effective competition frameworks is fundamental to achieving the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) mandate to foster the transition to open market  economies across central Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region. The notion of a competitive economy lies at the heart of the transition process and is one of the six qualities of a sustainable market economy identified in the EBRD’s transition concept.

The Bank plays an important role in helping those countries in which it invests to improve the framework and implementation of national competition law. Its technical cooperation initiatives aim primarily to strengthen competition authorities’ enforcement capabilities and administrative judges’ understanding of competition law and economics.

This paper’s objectives are to explain why competition policy is central to the Bank’s mandate  of promoting, well-functioning  market economies; to describe the Bank’s approach to state institutional capacity-building in general; to provide an overview of the Bank’s work to strengthen competition policy enforcement through a combination of capacity-building for national competition authorities and judicial training in competition law and economics; and to reflect on lessons learned from the EBRD’s work in this area, which can be applied to other
areas of state institutional capacity-building.


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