On 14 November 2019, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia appointed the new President of the Competition Commission (the “Commission“) as well as three new members of the authority’s management council.
Mr. Nebojša Perić, law graduate and a former director of a public utility company from Vršac was appointed as the new President, while Mr. Siniša Milošević (the former Chief Economist in the Commission) and Ms. Miroslava Đošić (the former Head of the Commission’s Legal Department), as well as Ms. Danijela Bokan, formerly of the Serbian Ministry of Finance were elected as members of the Council. They will join Mr. Čedomir Radojičić, whose term is set to expire in 2021. Council members are appointed for a term of five years and are entrusted with decision-making on both antitrust and merger control cases, and have to include both law and economic experts.
At appointment hearings, Mr. Nebojša Perić highlighted the need to draw up a list of sensitive sectors of the economy that would be specifically subject to sector inquiries, covering as many consumers as possible. He also committed to working on developing, in particular, the Commission’s leniency program which has to, in his words, “yet come to life in our country.“
Despite certain criticisms of the legal framework and specific cases, competition law in general and the Commission, in particular, have been seen as a success story in Serbia, with the country boasting relatively developed expertise and practice. Per the European Commission’s progress report for 2019, Serbia is considered moderately prepared in the area of competition policy for EU accession, with the bulk of the work yet to be done reserved for state aid matters. It remains to be seen what the new faces in its management will bring to the future development of the Commission.