Competition Policy in Poland

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Margorzata Krasnodebska-Tomkiel, Aug 26, 2008

Poland created a post-communist competition law system in 1990. The system is based on a public enforcement agency named the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection which is part of a governmental administration. The President heads the OCCP and is the sole decision maker with regards to restrictive practices and undertakings concentrations in Poland. According to the law, the OCCP’s President is appointed by Poland’s Prime Minister. Competition decisions adopted by the OCCP can be appealed to the specialized civil court named the Court for Competition and Consumer Protection. The Polish government is responsible for the creation and enforcement of competition policy in Poland. Its aims and priorities are established in the official document, Competition Policy. According to Polish competition law, the President of the OCCP drafts a revised version of this document every two to three years and presents it to the government for the approval. For instance, the strategy of Polish competition policy for 2008 to 2010 is presented in Competition Policy for 2008-2010 and was approved by the government in July 2008. The scope of the Competition Policy Report is much wider than the authority of the OCCP because it also covers issues connected with the activities of the national sector-specific regulatory bodies (e.g., the telecommunications and energy regulators). No sector of the economy is excluded. The impact of EC competition policy and legislation as well as other international competition fora (such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) are also taken into account in the Report. The strategic aims of the Competition Policy Report (e.g., counteracting restrictive practices, promotion of competition in the post-monopolistic sectors of economy, deregulation, and competition advocacy) have been priorities for the past several years. What makes the most recent version different is its intention to develop and use more appropriate tools to pursue and achieve these goals. Both Polish and international experiences provide a good starting point for further reflection and formulation of strategy for the future.

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