State of Compliance
The Law on Competition Protection contains provisions corresponding to Articles 101, 102 and 106 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. During the reporting period, secondary legislation regarding restrictions directly related and necessary to concentrations and damages has been adopted.
The Albanian Competition Authority’s (ACA) activities in the energy sector mainly focus on recommendations. However, full compliance with the Treaty’s obligation on enforcement of the competition acquis requires more rigorous enforcement activity by ACA.
Based on a complaint transmitted by the Secretariat, ACA investigated potential infringements on the market of storage and deviation of electricity. In its decision, the ACA found that KESH abused its dominant position through the implementation of two contracts with GSA SHPK and EFT AG and obliged KESH to discontinue these contracts.
ACA actively cooperates with the Secretariat in the framework of the Energy Community Competition Network.
State Aid Law
State Aid Law
The institutional structure and the enforcement mechanism continue to be a cause of concern. Due to the reorganisation of the ministries, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance were merged and the staff originally assigned to the State Aid Control Unit (SACU) was transferred to other departments. Therefore, SACU is effectively not operational, with staff being appointed to complete tasks on an ad hoc basis. The Secretariat has voiced its concerns to the Ministry which established a working group to discuss the institutional set-up of the authority. The situation remains unchanged.
Furthermore, the independence of the State Aid Commission (SAC) and SACU is questionable as they are both strongly connected to the Ministry of Economy and Finance. The SAC is chaired by the Minister, whereby the Ministry is the largest grantor of State aid. In addition, the fact that the decisions of the State aid authority are not publicly available aggravates its partiality and renders close scrutiny by stakeholders and the general public impossible.
Although the State aid acquis is fully transposed into national legislation, full compliance with the Treaty’s obligations in the area of State aid requires an independent State aid authority with sufficient human and technical resources which actively enforces the acquis. Due to the lack of SAC’s enforcement activities, compliance with the State aid acquis is not guaranteed.