legal approximation

Legal approximation

One of the EU membership criteria is the ‘ability to assume membership obligations’, which necessitates not only transposition of the Acquis Communautaire into national legislation, but also ensure effective and efficient implementation of the EU laws and principles. Since public institutions are the main implementation authorities, it is very important for them to have strong and credible administrative capacity. This fact has been underlined by the European Commission in different documents such as Regular Reports and Accession partnership documents.

As part of accession negotiations, public institutions have been utilising internal and external resources to provide consultancy services, capacity and institutional building and training with the aim to increase the competencies of their staff along with their measures to enhance their administrative capacities.
In this context, I have developed an extensive experience (over a decade) as a State aid expert on EU-focused projects aimed at capacity building, institution building, and State aid approximation. Successfully implemented institution-building projects in multiple countries:

2012 – Position: Senior Expert
Description: Developed a national training strategy to enhance administrative capacities of public institutions in the context of accession negotiations and implemented pilot training modules. Organized and delivered two one-week State aid courses.

2011 – Position: State aid acquis expert
Description: Prepared the draft State aid law and presented a comprehensive commentary thereof, as part of the EU funded project: “Harmonisation of Competition and Public Procurement systems in Ukraine with EU standards”.

May 2007 and January 2008 – Position: State aid trainer
Description: Developed and implemented a train-the-trainers program and training sessions (including development of training material) on recent developments in the fields of Antitrust and Merger control and State Aid in the EU, as part of the EU funded project: “Implementing Croatian Competition and State aid policies”.

March 2005 to June 2006 – Position: Short term expert on EU Competition Law
Description: Provided technical assistance for the strengthening of administrative capacities in Albania in the field of Competition and State aid rules for the EU funded project “Support to Competition and State Aids”. In particular the following areas were addressed: a) enforcement of the system of competition regulation; b) strengthening of administrative capacities in this area, including the case management system fully operational; c) design and implementation of State aid regulations according to the EU requirements; and, d) promotion of public awareness on Competition and State aid.
June 2008 to December 2009 – Position: Key Legal expert and Team Leader
Description: Provided technical assistance and legal support as part of the EU funded project “Support to Albanian State Aid Directorate in assessing State Aids schemes”. The following areas were addresses: a) Needs and priority assessment of the State Aid Directorate staff capacities in analysing State aids schemes; b) Delivery of capacity building program for the directorate’s staff; c). Technical assistance for the analysis of Albanian’s current State aids schemes according to existing legislation; and d) technical assistance for mapping State aids based on available GDP data.

October 2006 to December 2006 – Position: Short term expert on State aid
Description: As part of the EU funded project “Technical Assistance for the Internal Market and Trade Reform”, my role comprised the following: a) Analysed the state of play in legal approximation in State aid; b) Assessment the State aid institutional framework and its capacity to implement the legislation; and, c) prepared the Terms of Reference for proposed interventions.
February 2009 – Position: State aid trainer
Description: Developed and implemented a training program on ‘Impact of EU Policies on Domestic Policy Fields – State aid Policy’ for the Regional School of Public Administration. Served as project leader and key expert for this seminar, delivering numerous presentations on State aid principles, including the development of training materials.

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