Prishtina, June 21, 2019 – The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo reminds the institutions of Republic of Kosovo that the Constitution provides for an economic order which is based on a market economy with free competition.
A functional liberal economy necessitates for a level playing field, whereby Government’s intervention and interference in regulating the market forces is non-existent or minimal. In this regard, exclusive control of the trade in a commodity or service, goes against the orientation of the country for a free market economy. The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, along with arrangements that Kosovo has made with international entities, reflect the commitment of state institutions to fulfill the respective provisions that promote such lines of economy.
AmCham thereby expresses its concerns on the monopolized homologation of vehicles—which impedes competition, fosters unfair practices of providing services, and increases the expenditures of businesses and citizens. Having a single homologation operator impedes free competition, and consequently, the efficiency that results with more bodies that provide the same service—both, in terms of avoiding excessive pricing as well as increasing the availability of providing that nature of service to the public. The current system of homologation of vehicles hampers the freedom to provide services, which in effect, penalizes the consumers with additional logistic expenditures needed to acquire the service in a single location.
Similarly, and for many years, country’s institutions have exercised a favorable treatment of publicly owned enterprises, through erroneous implementation of the in-house purchase provisions, whereby the public authorities are purchasing services from publicly owned enterprises without being subject to public procurement procedures, in contradiction to the constitutional provisions and the Law on Public Procurement. AmCham reiterates its position that publicly owned enterprises should in no way be considered as “public authorities”, as Law on Publicly Owned Enterprises clearly provides that these enterprises, with no exception, shall be subject to laws, regulations and sublegal acts, which regulate private business organizations, therefore purchasing of their services by contracting authorities through “in-house procurement provisions” should be interrupted as it threatens fair competition.
AmCham also recalls the long period of three years when the Kosovo Competition Commission was nonfunctional and thus preventing the Competition Authority to exercise its legal duties in the area of protection of competition, urging the Government and the Assembly to ensure the proper functioning of this body at all times.
The American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo states that impediment to free competition poses a breach of Constitutional provisions, which explicitly puts a prohibition on practices that restrict free competition by abusing the dominant position or practices. In this spirit, all institutions of Republic of Kosovo should identify unfair business practices and take measures to stop them, and ensure that marketplace remains free and competitive.