Interstate Council for Antimonopoly Policy of CIS countries (ICAP)
The cooperation in the field of competition policy in the CIS begun with the signing by the Heads of Governments of all States - CIS members of the Agreement on coordinated competition policy (hereinafter - Agreement) which took place on December 23, 1993 in Ashgabat.
The main aim of theAgreement is to form legal and institutional framework for cooperation for coordinated antimonopoly policy and development of competition, as well as to eliminate negative for trade and economic development factors and prevent acts detrimental to the economic interests of the member states as a result of monopolistic activity and / or unfair competition. Subsequently, the goals, objectives and mechanisms of coordinated anti-monopoly policy in the CIS provided in the agreement have been clarified and supplemented in a new version of the Agreement, signed at the Council of CIS Heads of Governments on January 25, 2000 in Moscow.
In accordance with the Agreement the Interstate Council on Antimonopoly Policy (ICAP) was established in 1993. ICAP is formed by the authorized representatives of the member states of the Agreement and operates in close cooperation with the CIS Executive Committee and is guided by the CIS Charter, the agreements concluded within the CIS, the decisions of statutory bodies of the Commonwealth.
It should be noted that ICAP is one of the few agencies of sectoral cooperation within the CIS, which holds meetings on a regular basis at least twice a year, and as a rule, alternately in the capitals of the CIS member states. There were 34 meetings of ICAP held as of today.
Meetings of the ICAP allow its participants to regularly exchange views on recent tendencies in antimonopoly law of the Commonwealth, views on the general economic situation in their countries, information about the most interesting cases of antimonopoly enforcement practice in order to develop common approaches to the harmonization of competition law and its implementation in the CIS.
The work carried out within the framework of the ICAP is primarily aimed at:
1. Improvement of national competition laws of the CIS member countries (antitrust laws, the laws on advertising, consumer protection, regulation of natural monopolies, public procurement) and its implementation based on best international practices and practices of the CIS partner countries.
2. Development of practical cooperation between antimonopoly authorities of the CIS member countries.
Objects of study are social-oriented markets, successful operation of which provides the infrastructure, which is the basis of a common economic space within the CIS, as well as directly affects the welfare of the citizens of the CIS (air passenger markets, telecommunications, grain, fuel and lubricants, retail, pharmaceutical markets).
The agreed measures of antimonopoly response contributes to the development of competition in relevant markets, receiving obvious benefits by consumers as well as creates a good basis for the expansion of economic and social interaction within the CIS.
3. Competition Advocacy within the CIS.
Competition advocacy is the arrangement of such conditions, first of all the informational ones, in which all participants of the market process, public authoritiesa and citizens will understand the need to comply with competition rules in good faith, efficiency of the competitive approach, commitment to the provisions of the legislation. Various activities with the participation of antimonopoly authorities of the Commonwealth (seminars, conferences, trainings of specialists) are held in order to promote competition advocacy in the CIS. There’s also a broad coverage of activities of the CIS countries antimonopoly authorities and the work carried out within the framework of ICAP in massmedia as well as in the Internet.
4. Human resource development.
Antimonopoly authorities of the CIS member states pay special attention to this issue using best practices of the CIS colleagues as well as foreign experience and constantly expanding and improving the forms and methods of training and retraining specialists. Mutual trainings of employees of the antimonopoly authorities of the CIS states are held on regular basis. Due to limited financial resources, in recent years increased the number of distance trainings with the use of electronic means.
Thus, measures taken by competition authorities to monitor compliance with the antimonopoly legislation in commodity and financial markets of the CIS are aimed at creating conditions for equal and fair competition and promote efficient forming of a free trade zone, as the next step of deepening integration within the CIS. However, in modern conditions antimonopoly authorities can not act in isolation. Increasing processes of globalization and integration pose new economic challenges, which in turn are a source of opportunities and incentive for further progress. In this context, cooperation and interaction of antimonopoly (competition) authorities reach a new level.
Such cooperation provides harmonization and balancing of the interests of the Commonwealth in the process of liberalization of international trade, promotes the formation of favorable investment climate, strengthening of economic ties and forming relations of fair competition between economic entities of the CIS member states.
In the short term the Interstate Council on Antimonopoly Policy aims to implement the following tasks:
- further harmonization of national competition laws of the CIS member states;
- development of common approaches and coordinated joint action when addressing violations of the antimonopoly legislation, in the first place, in the socially significant markets, both domestic and cross-border ones within the frames of CIS;
- enhancing the attention of inter-state CIS bodies, engaged in the coordination and regulation of infrastructure sectors, to the introduction and development of a competitive basis;
- reforming of the system of public purchases by ensuring the transparency and accessibility of purchase procedures, the use of achievements in the sphere of technological and information support of the state purchases process;
- implementation of decisions taken following the consideration by the CIS Economic Council and Council of Heads of Government questions concerning the state of competition in air passenger transport and telecommunications markets of the CIS member states.