Competition policy

Competition policy in Lithuania

  • The Ministry of Economy is a competition policy-maker since July 2011.
  • The main authority implementing the competition policy is the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania, which supervises the compliance with the Law on Competition of the Republic of Lithuania.
  • The Ministry of Economy, as a competition policy-maker, maintains active cooperation with the Competition Council, but in implementing its functions the Competition Council is autonomous and independent. This way the constitutional principle of the separation of power is guaranteed.
  • The principle of fair competition is consistently enshrined in the hierarchy of the national and EU legislation:
    • Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania;
    • Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;
    • EU regulations;
    • Law on Competition;
    • Sectoral laws (the Law on Heat Sector, the Law on Energy, etc.);
    • Guidelines on the Application of the Competition Policy Provisions approved by the Government;
    • Other resolutions of the Government and the Competition Council.
  • These legal acts establish that the fair competition is a universal value – the keystone of the functioning of the economy, and thus should be protected.
  • The main objective of the competition policy (established in the Guidelines on the Application of Competition Policy Provisions) covers not only the classic competition law in its narrow sense - to protect the freedom of competition and create conditions to compete in order to ensure the effective and fair competition of undertakings which would generate maximum possible benefits for consumers - but is also linked with a wider context - improvement of business conditions and promotion of economic growth.
  • In carrying out the function of a competition policy-making, the Ministry of Economy devotes particular attention to ensure that decisions passed by the Government do not infringe the principles and rules of the competition.In accordance with Article 4 of the Law on Competition and the Guidelines on the Application of The Competition Policy Provisions, active actions should be taken in order to avoid incorporating in legal acts any unjustified restrictions of competition, or any conditions that are discriminating or granting privileges.
  • The Ministry of Economy also emphasises the significance of the impact assessment. The impact assessment also covering the assessment of the impact on competition is an important measure for ensuring the adoption of justified decisions. 
Assessment of the impact on competition
  • The impact assessment, which should be carried out by each legislator drafting a legal act, can best facilitate in answering the question whether a proposed decision restricts competition.
  • The assessment of the impact on competition is enshrined in the Methodology for Assessing the Impact of Planned Regulatory Framework.
  • The Ministry of Economy evaluates whether institutions properly assess the impact on competition, provides comments and proposals, and consults on the matters of assessment of the impact on competition.
  • Draft legal acts possibly related to the restriction of competition should be provided to the Ministry of Economy for obtaining its conclusions.
  • The Guidelines on the Assessment of Impact of Decisions on Competition passed by the Competition Councilprovide for a standard questionnaire for the assessment of the impact of decisions on competition.

Competition policy and the European Union

  • The competition area in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is attributed to the exclusive competence of the EU.
  • The enforcement of competition rules enshrined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is ensured by the European Commission and national competition authorities.
  • The Competitiveness Council, in the activities of which the Minister of Economy participates, deals with the essential matters of competition and state aid. During the Lithuania’s Presidency of the EU Council, the Competitiveness Council chaired by the Minister of Economy agreed on a general approach regarding the Directive on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States and of the European Union. The Directive was adopted on 26 November 2014.
  •  The Ministry of Economy is an authority responsible for the transposition of the aforementioned directive in Lithuania (Directive 2014/104/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States and of the European Union of 26 November 2014) into the national law. The Directive must be transposed into the national law no later than by 27 December 2016.

Useful links

Internet websites of the institutions:

Links to legal acts and other relevant documents:

Last updated: 30-09-2015