Short conference description

The conference is held in memory of the late Professor Vedran Šoljan (1962-2008), one of Croatia's pioneers of competition law. The conference traditionally offers a platform for discussion of recent antitrust developments, with a particular focus on Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and South-East Europe (SEE). This year's topics include e-commerce and vertical restraints, reform of horizontal guidelines, the Digital Markets Act and e-platforms, right of defence in competition law, challenges to competition law enforcement in CEE and SEE countries, and a panel on recent competition law developments in the CEE/SEE region.

The theme of the panel

Competition law systems in the Central and Eastern European Member States of the European Union, candidate countries, and the members of the European Neighbourhood Instrument are facing various enforcement and institutional issues, such as deficiencies of their national competition authorities institutional capacity, slow-moving enforcement records, modest fining policy, low level of media visibility of the competition agencies and the competition law agenda, insufficient competition culture, authoritarian legal culture legacy as well as limited experience of national judges with (EU) competition rules, including the lack of specialisation.

Despite strong EU influence and, in some countries, the mechanism of EU conditionality, the national specifics of these jurisdictions continue to prominently shape their competition law systems within limits permitted by EU acquis (applying national competition rules in the absence of "effect on trade" under Regulation 1/2003, exercising legislative discretion in implementing the Damages Directive 2014/104/EU and ECN+ Directive 2019/1). This questions the harmonised application of the competition law throughout the EU and in its immediate neighbourhood and requires a separate and in-depth understanding of the competition law systems in the focus jurisdictions.

The panel aims to explore national competition law systems by taking a bottom-up approach that looks at particular challenges faced by individual jurisdictions that derive from specificities of their legal traditions.

The following research questions will be considered:

  • In the focus countries, what kind of case studies emerged that illustrate the peculiarities of the national legal systems that have significantly affected the implementation of the EU competition acquis?

  • In the field of public enforcement, what are the reasons for the very limited or even non-existent application of EU competition rules (Articles 101 and 102 TFEU) in the focus jurisdictions?

  • In the field of private enforcement, which specifics of the national legal systems affect the implementation of the Damages Directive?

  • In terms of institutional settings, what kind of formal and/or informal institutions specific to the national competition law (or administrative/constitutional law) systems affect the implementation of the ECN+ Directive?

  • Which peculiarities of the national legal systems have been erased/amended in the process of Europeanization, i.e. the implementation of the EU competition acquis?

  • How do so-called legal transplants from EU law function in the focus jurisdictions? For example, which cases studies emerged that demonstrate that legal transplants have not been properly "translated" and adjusted due to the specifics of the latter (leniency policy, dawn raids, full judicial review of NCA decisions, institutional independence and priority setting of the NCAs, etc.)?

We invite contributions from scholars and practitioners interested in exploring competition law and policy issues in the Central and Eastern European Member States of the EU, candidate countries, and the members of the European Neighbourhood Instrument. Although the focus is on legal issues, submission of interdisciplinary papers is encouraged. Papers opening discussions on challenges found in the focus jurisdictions compared with similar problems outside of Europe will also be considered.

The organisers expect to include the following types of papers:

  • Covering problems with the application of the EU acquis due to the specifics (substantive/procedural/institutional) of the national competition law systems;

  • Comparative papers covering several focus jurisdictions;

  • Interdisciplinary papers addressing in particular, the dynamics of competition law enforcement over time in the target jurisdictions

Submission of conference papers

Interested scholars and practitioners, including PhD students, are invited to submit extended abstracts (minimum 2,000 words) or full draft papers (minimum 6,000 words) no later than March 15, 2022, with priority given to full papers in the selection. The submissions should also contain the author's name, affiliation and contact details, including email address and a short biography (100 words).

Authors will be informed by April 1, 2022, by the latest, whether they have been selected for the conference. The abstracts/papers will be evaluated by two independent evaluators. Submissions should be sent to

Publication of conference papers

After obtaining the authors' consent, the abstracts/papers will be published on the conference website ( The organisers will recommend publishing the selected papers in the Yearbook of Antitrust and Regulatory Studies (YARS) (