Legal and Politological Aspects of Competition in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a Paradigm of the European Integration Process
Keywords:competition law, Competiton Law of BiH, Council of Competition of BiH, European integration
As a country in transition and development, committed to the path towards membership in the European Union, Bosnia and Herzegovina encounters many challenges and obstacles in terms of fulfilling the tasks set before it. Quite complicated governmental and legal arrangement determines the pace of achieving the tasks that are prerequisites for the European Union membership status. By signing the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, Bosnia and Herzegovina assumed the obligation to gradually harmonise the national legislation with the EU legislation in the most important areas related to the internal market. In this context, one of highly important ones is the area of competition law. This paper analyses the quality of solutions provided by the normative and institutional framework of the market competition protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina by using the normative, historical, comparative, and content analysis methods. Basic features of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EU are presented through a chronological summary of the integration process of BiH into the EU. The primary hypothesis of the paper is that recent legal solutions in the area of competition do not follow the current legal standards of the competition regulations in the EU. Analytical overview of annual reports on the operation of the Council of Competition as regulatory body in Bosnia and Herzegovina shows that competition is a typical example of the ‘crawling’ integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the EU. It is quite obvious that the lack of political will of the ruling structures slows the integration processes down. This area requires an efficient enforcement of competition regulations whose implementation enables the companies to act in line with the law. Without adequate and prompt amending of the Law on Competition and related by-laws there can be no positive evaluation of the European Commission concerning the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina.