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The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

Croatia stands among the highest ranked countries when it comes to the compliance of its PPP legislative framework with international standards. Reports issued by international institutions such as the EBRD and the EIB have praised Croatia for its elaborate legal framework, strong institutional capacities, transparent procurement practices, easy access to justice (including arbitration), and a range of security instruments facilitating financing.

The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).

Croatia's Cipcic‑Bragadin law firm has merged with the independent legal practices of Marina Mesic and Ivan Juricic. Following what it calls "the trilateral merger," Marina Mesic becomes a new named partner and Ivan Juricic joins as a senior partner at the firm, which will operate going forward as Cipcic‑Bragadin Mesic and Associates.

The European Commission has just published its comprehensive proposal for the so-called "New Deal for Consumers", which aims to strengthen EU consumer rights and enforcement. This includes the proposal for a new Directive enabling certain qualified entities to seek redress on behalf of consumers who have been harmed by an unlawful commercial practice.

Slovenia: Fine-Tuning of the Tax System

In the beginning of 2018, Slovenia introduced several minor and mainly administrative changes to its tax legislation, mostly addressing and resolving inconsistencies in the legislation that had been detected in practice. 

Over the last years, Croatia has produced more electricity from renewable than from fossil sources. The share of renewables in electric energy generation varies depending on hydrological conditions, as the majority of electric energy in Croatia is generated from large hydropower plants.

Back in the 2000s, the conditions for getting a loan from a Croatian bank were quite strict and complicated. Beside a good credit rating, the banks were asking for a number of securities: mortgages, guarantors, etc. Recognizing that as a good business opportunity, many foreign financial institutions (primarily banks and leasing companies, but also financial cooperatives) decided to enter Croatian market.

A reputable international business journal once described Croatia as an “economic and political basket-case.” Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly difficult not to agree with this impression. Open any newsfeed or any business journal, or Google top stories related to Croatia, and chances are you’ll stumble across at least one article about Agrokor. The headlines are something along the lines of “To house 15,000 creditors for the largest creditor’s meeting ever, Agrokor considers renting a stadium in Zagreb.“ 

Unfair trading is often referred to as the cause of crisis in various sectors, holding down small and medium enterprises. In practice, unfair trading is sometimes improperly confused with predatory pricing or distortion of competition. Unfair trading may also trigger serious tax implications.

“The business sector is definitely calming down in Croatia after the Agrokor scandal shocked the whole region last year,” says Partner Mario Krka of Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic. “Investors are regaining their confidence and the market is getting back to its old self, while the economy is being boosted by infrastructural and tourism investments already ongoing or planned for this year.”

On Thursday, November 30th, leading legal practitioners from across Central and Eastern Europe gathered in Prague to help CEE Legal Matters celebrate its fourth successful year as the leading chronicle of the legal industry in the region, participating in an expert Round Table conversation about the year just concluded and enjoying an evening of dinner, drinks, and bonhomie. 

This article has been drafted to follow-up to the 2016 Comparative Report on Minor Disputes, which was drafted by the World Bank in cooperation with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The commercial legal markets of Central & Eastern Europe didn’t appear automatically. They didn’t develop in a vacuum. They were formed, shaped, and led, by lawyers – visionary, hard-working, commercially-minded, and client-focused individuals pulling the development of CEE’s legal markets along behind them as they labored relentlessly for their clients, their careers, their futures. 

Schoenherr, working with lead counsel Gleiss Lutz, has advised French IT service provider Atos SE on the planned acquisition of Siemens Convergence Creators GmbH for an undisclosed price. Siemens AS was represented by Hengeler Muller on the deal, which is expected to close at the end of December 2017 and is still subject to the information/consultation process with employee representative bodies and the approval of the relevant regulatory and antitrust authorities. 

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