At present effective enforcement of competition law is a complex issue. Its integral part is also international co-operation in the area of enforcement and harmonization of competition law and policy at an international level. In order to enforce competition rules effectively it is thus essential for the Office for the Protection of Competition to actively engage in co-operation, which includes activities of national competition authorities, bodies of international organizations and further initiatives which help in solving cases with international dimensions and above all contribute to exchanging information and experience regarding specific topics in competition policy. With regard to the fact that the Czech Republic is a member state of the European Union, the majority of commitments and duties result from co-operation among the European competition authorities and the European Commission, in particular the Directorate General for Competition. The community framework of competition law is an inherent part of the Office’s activity and thus a great part of foreign co-operation rests in dealing with the European Commission in Brussels within individual committees and working groups.
The second significant area of international co-operation includes meetings and participation in conferences held by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The OECD Competition Committee holds its meetings twice a year, and working groups for co-operation and competition law enforcement hold their meetings three times a year. These forums provide an opportunity for discussing various competition topics and for exchanging experience among member states, international organizations and associated observers (Russia, Indonesia, Taiwan, etc.). The OECD is a unique platform at the expert level and it makes it easier for the Office to monitor the current trends in the area of protection of competition. The Office for the Protection of Competition is a regular contributor to all topics discussed in meetings, and is a dignified representative of the Czech Republic in the international field.
The Office’s employees also regularly attend international conferences, workshops and seminars dealing with competition law, state aid and public procurement. The content of these events contributes to developing expert knowledge of the Office’s employees. Last but not least, it is necessary to mention that the Office’s experts are regular speakers at international events and their presentations and contributions constitute a significant benefit for the development of competition law at an international level.