In view of Croatia's imminent accession to the European Union, the agency has set its strategic goals as:
- strengthening the existing legal framework;
- preparing for the expansion of competence;
- strengthening cooperation; and
- raising awareness about competition issues.
One of the main priorities for the 2012/2013 period is the smooth integration of upcoming legal changes. This includes strengthening the existing legal framework and operational activities focused on the economy, administrative institutions, the courts and the agency itself in order to ensure that on the date of Croatia's accession to the European Union (July 1 2013), it is prepared for the new conditions arising from EU membership. Amending the Competition Act is regarded as a priority in this regard.
The amendment of the Competition Act is closely connected to the expansion of the Competition Agency's competence. Following Croatia's accession to the European Union the agency will, in conjunction with Croatian national law, be in charge of implementing Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. From the point of accession, undertakings will be subject not only to the agency's scrutiny, but also to that of the European Commission. In addition, the agency will expand its competence to include the assessment of concentrations in the financial sector. Consequently, cooperation between existing institutions must be improved, as well as cooperation on an international level.
International cooperation is an area which requires urgent improvement and extensive changes. It is important to invest further in cooperation with international bodies such as the International Competition Network and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Upon acceeding to the European Union, Croatia will become a full member of the European Competition Network; the Competition Agency will therefore have to intensify its active involvement within the network and its working parties, and assist the European Commission in handling specific cases where necessary.
The agency intends to continue investing in raising awareness, improving transparency and strengthening the competition regime. Market investigations will continue to play a crucial role in exploring industries that are susceptible to competition law violations and that bear a significant risk of harm to consumers.