INTERNATIONAL: SERBIA - STATE AID - REFORM - HARMONISATION

Serbia: Reflections on the new State aid regime

On October 10, 2019, Serbian parliamentarians have voted in favour of adopting the new State Aid Control Act. In the past ten years, the enforcement activity in the field of State aid in Serbia has been somewhat subpar. The legal community still awaits the first decision of the State aid Commission prohibiting aid as incompatible, which is yet to happen. For this and other reasons, Serbian legislators and State aid experts expect the new Act to significantly increase the level of enforcement and further harmonise Serbian legal system with the EU acquis. In that respect, the Act introduces several important changes to the previous State aid regime. Whilst the novelties bring much-needed upgrade to the State aid system in Serbia, not all issues have been addressed in this new piece of legislation. This article aims to provide a useful overview of the most noteworthy changes while analysing identified shortcomings in the Act and the effects that said changes might have on enforcement in Serbia.

Introduction 1. In 2008 Serbia and the EU signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (the “SAA”). [1] The SAA contained provisions on State aid which signalled future changes in this area. Only a year later, Serbian parliament for the first time regulated the State aid matter by enacting the State Aid Control Act (henceforth the “Original Act”). [2] 2. The Original Act brought to the table a new concept that State’s involvement in market processes can have adverse effects on competition in a free market. The level of awareness among grantors of aid was quite low at the time and it remains one of the pressing issues ten years later, while Serbia follows its path toward EU membership. 3. In terms of substance, the Original Act was relatively short. The provisions in the Original

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  • King’s College (London)

Quotation

Dušan Mitrović, Serbia: Reflections on the new State aid regime, February 2020, Concurrences N° 1-2020, Art. N° 92792

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