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.
The ACA’s 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 the ACA.
The 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, however, continue to be a cause of concern. Due to the last reorganisation of the ministries, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance were merged and the staff originally assigned to the SACU was transferred to other departments. Therefore, the 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.
Furthermore, the independence of the SAC and the 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.
Following the adoption of the Law on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources in early 2017, the SAC approved feed-in tariffs for electricity from renewable sources generated by small installations.
Furthermore, the SAC assessed and approved a state guarantee regarding a loan provided by KfW to the transmission system operator (OST) for the project “400 kv Albania-Macedonia transmission line”. The SAC came to the conclusion that the guarantee constitutes State aid, but is compatible and therefore legitimate. The assessment of this guarantee involved detailed legal and economic analysis which the authority undertook with the assistance of the Secretariat. Irrespective of the institutional set-up, the State aid authority actively cooperates with the Secretariat.
Although the State aid acquis is fully transposed into national legislation, full compliance with the Treaty’s obligations in the area of State aid require an independent State aid authority with sufficient human and technical resources which actively enforces the acquis.