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Presentation on theme: "ECOWAS COMPETITION POLICY"— Presentation transcript:

by: Dr SACKO Seydou Programme Officer Trade and Competition ECOWAS COMMISSION V1.1

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INTRODUCTION: Vital instrument for promoting a market economy; Occupies a key position among the vital instruments for promoting modern economies Essential for successful integration which can be achieved only by creating a single liberalised and competitive market and a legal rationalised and harmonised environment

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Legal basis and justification of a competition policy for ECOWAS ECOWAS Treaty –Art 50 P 7 & Art 60; Recommendations by the EPA Ministerial Monitoring Committee; Construction of the common market-Customs Union-Large scale production, provision of modern means of production-cost reduction for the benefit of the sub-region’s populations. Enterprises are most likely to adopt practices with a view to maintaining their privileged position, practices which are prejudicial to the competitiveness of our economies and to the welfare of consumers ; hence, the need for competition to be organised on a sound basis.

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Legal basis and justification of a competition policy for ECOWAS (cont.) To ensure the proper functioning of the common market (even though it is still in the process of being constructed) and enable economic operators and final consumers to benefit from the effects of trade liberalisation between Member States, ECOWAS deemed it necessary to endow itself with an appropriate competition policy. This policy is vital to the realisation of the domestic market- promotes economic efficiency by creating an environment conducive to innovation and technical progress to ensure maximum satisfaction of consumers’ needs and minimize costs of factors of production.

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Legal basis and justification of a competition policy for ECOWAS (cont.) Another function of the competition policy is that it is an effective tool for achieving a level of competitiveness that is acceptable for economic activities in the region for beneficial integration into the global economy, which is also one of the objectives of integration. An essential dimension that is expected to first prepare our enterprises for international competition and, secondly, ensure the quality and security of the legal business environment to attract investments.

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Regional Competition Policy Framework Designed to provide a detailed clarification on the basic principles of the competition policy and its outlines within the framework of a regional integration process, this document comprises the following six segments: Objective and basic principles of a competition policy; Justification of a regional competition policy for ECOWAS; Current status of competition laws within ECOWAS; Main outlines of Community rules on competition within ECOWAS; Implementation conditions: preconditions for effective application of regional rules on competition; Capacity building:

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Capacity building Regional Adoption of Regional Policy Framework, Adoption of Supplementary Acts, Establishment of Regional Authority, Formulation of necessary implementation rules, Scale of fines, Establishment of an Advisory Board, Etc. National Harmonisation of national laws, Training, sensitisation,

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Supplementary Act on Community Rules and modalities for their implementation This act sets out the competition rules applicable in the region and the basic principles in matters relating to prohibition of restrictive competition practices and provides for acts complementary to the existing mechanism, particularly at the procedural level. It comprises mainly: general provisions (Articles 1, 2, 3, 4,) dealing with definitions, the objectives of the rules and their scope; provisions applicable to enterprises (Articles 5, 6,7) prohibiting in principle concerted agreements and practices restricting competition, abuse of dominant position and concentrations and providing for exemptions by category and on individual basis; provisions applicable to government assistance and specific sectors (public entreprises) (Articles 8 and 9); provisions relating to compensations and authorisations (exemptions) (Articles 10 and 11); transitional provisions (Articles 12, 13 and 14); final provisions (Articles 15, 16 and 17)

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The structure of the Act on the Regional Competition Authority is as follows: Creation and composition of the Authority (Art. 1 and 2) ; Duties and powers (Art. 3 and 4) ; Procedures and sanctions (Art. 5 to 11) Financing, accounting, auditing, rules of procedure (Art.12, 14); Transitional provisions (Art. 15) Final provisions (Art. 16, 17, and 18)

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Supplementary Act on the establishment, duties and functions of the Regional Authority (cont.) Reasons for the choice: The UEMOA experience was considered. It was observed that some factors (slow budgetary administrative procedures, time for conduct of surveys, etc.) impede the effective implementation of a community competition policy; hence, the need for such a regional authority to have relative authority on the following grounds: Activities financed with budgetary resources and any other resources that may be determined by the Council of Ministers (Art.12)and the Authority’s budget are controlled by the relevant organs of the Commission. The Executive Director and his deputies are directly under the President of the Commission (Art.2),who has the right to inspect the activities of the Authority, which submits to him an interim report and an annual report in addition to specific notes.

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Regional Authority’s relations with UEMOA Article 14 of the Supplementary Act on competition rules states in principle that UEMOA’s experience should be taken into account. Article 3 of the Act creating the Regional Authority reflects this cooperation obligation. The Authority is expected to capitalise on UEMOA’s experience in this area . A subsequent act will determine the modalities for establishing this cooperation.

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Authority’s relations with the Community Court of Justice The different procedural acts ranging from preliminary investigation to decision-making after examination of dispute cases should be consistent with the legal provisions under the supervision of the Court. In any event, an appeal against the different acts of the Authority may be lodged at the Community Court of Justice, which shall sit as an appellate court. Its decision is final. The principle of dual jurisdiction is therefore retained.

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Relations with UNCTAD Cooperation process with UNCTAD UNCTAD’s observations on project documents on competition Prospects for technical meetings to monitor and put in place the ECOWAS Competition Policy

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REGIONAL POLICY FRAMEWORK UEMOA National Competition Structure National Competition Structure National Competition Structure REGIONAL COMPETITION AUTHORITY COMMON RULES Community Court of Justice Advisory Bord 1

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CONCLUSION: As we analyse the ECOWAS competition policy, major issues arise, namely: What possible institutional arrangements could be put in place to ensure the effective implementation of the ECOWAS Competition Policy? The Issues of subsidiarities? (between regional and national level) In what way UNCTAD, CUTS and others Regional Economic organisations (COMESA, SADC, CEMAC etc.) can contribute or cooperate to the capacity building of ECOWAS and of its Member States in order to lay a solid foundation for this ECOWAS Competition Policy?

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LINES OF THOUGHT Support to ensure the effective implementation of the Regional Competition Policy Support to capacity building of national structures Support to the establishment of the Regional Competitionn Authority Specific or detailed joint studies Support to the drafting of the Authority’s operational rules Support to awareness and training campaigns organised for stakeholders Etc.

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Thank you for your attention - Merci de votre attention - Obrigado -


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