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This month's cover article aims to analyze, in the specific context of a case study based on the experience of our team, the practical effects on companies of the lack of corroboration or compatibility of certain legal provisions.

Serbian national electricity company, Electric Power Industry of Serbia (“EPS”), is working actively on the development of systems for generation of renewables. Some of the most important ventures at the moment are construction of solar and wind farm in Kostolac, a small town in the eastern part of Serbia, as well as support to investments in the field of biofuels.

The Hungarian Parliament has started the general debate concerning the new bill on the mandatory filing of country-by-country report by multinational enterprise groups (MNE Groups) located or operating in the EU. The aim is to hinder the aggressive tax-planning practices of the MNE Groups with a total consolidated revenue equal or higher than €750 million by strengthening the mandatory exchange of information. Increased transparency could have the effect of giving MNE Groups an incentive to abandon the above practices.

Although the economic needle of the Turkish compass suffers through changes and deviations in the recent years, energy sector (mainly renewable/sustainable) remains true to its nature of sustainable growth and energy.

During the last year, the number of labor disputes which were resolved through mediation and arbitration in Serbia have increased fivefold. To improve the process of peaceful labor dispute resolution, amendents to the Amicable Labor Dispute Resolution Act (the “Act”) are expected.

Is Sustainability Possible in Family Businesses? 

As is known, family businesses carries a crucial importance not only in Turkey but also in global sense in economic life. Family companies contribute nearly %75 of GNP and %85 of employment in Turkey. 

New Regulation on Terms and Conditions for Attracting Direct Investments enacted by the Serbian Government came into force on 1 January 2017 (the “New Investment Regulation”).

Although mediation process entered into force about 5 years ago, due to many reasons, it has not caught up the expected effect yet, however, it seems determined to change this trend. It is possible to resort to mediation for resolving all kinds of private legal disputes arising from acts or transactions of real and legal persons.

At the end of March 2017, the Hungarian Ministry of Justice published the bill of the new act on attorneys at law. The bill includes significant amendments compared to the current regulations. As a main amendment, in house lawyers preparing and countersigning the deeds of the company and acting in court proceedings on behalf of the company would be integrated in the bar association.

Legal Background

The Regulation on the Law on Applications for Turkish Citizenship ("Regulation") has been published on Official Gazette dated 12.01.2017 and numbered 29946. According to the amendment, a foreign investor who meets certain conditions mentioned under the provisions added to the Regulation can obtain Turkish Citizenship. Besides the Regulation, Land Registry Code also stipulates criteria for buying property as a foreigner in Turkey.

An “unmanned aircraft” or “remotely piloted aircraft system” or “drone” is an aerial vehicle without a human pilot on board. Drones are designed for various uses: military, law enforcement, environmental and infrastructure monitoring, journalism, surveillance, agriculture, transportation, construction, etc. Being equipped with sophisticated geolocation, imaging, and facial recognition technologies or infrared sensors, some high-end drones can track up to 65 targets across an area as wide as 100 km, which allows for the gathering of detailed information on people – thus potentially infringing their right to privacy. The issue becomes even more worrying as drones retail at low prices that allow wide access to the technology.

During recent years issues related to the protection of personal data have been actively discussed and developed, and Russian authorities have begun paying more attention to compliance by businesses with the personal data processing rules.

The Personal Data Protection Act 2005 (the “Act”) is the key legislative act that regulates personal data protection matters in Macedonia, including transfers of personal data outside of Macedonia. The Act is aligned with the EC Directive 95/46/EC (the “Data Protection Directive”). Macedonia’s obligation to align the Act with the Data Protection Directive derives from its status as a European Union candidate country, for which implementation of the EU legislation is mandatory. The Directorate for Personal Data Protection (the “Directorate”) is the Macedonian independent agency competent to oversee the Act’s implementation.

Turkey’s first data protection and privacy law (the “Law”) came into force on April 7, 2016. The Law, which is largely in line with the EU’s Data Protection Directive, aims to safeguard the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, in particular their right to privacy, with respect to the processing of their personal data.

We are living in a digital age. The Snowden case has placed certain aspects of personal data processing and related threats in the spotlight. The ripple effects have been seen far beyond the USA, and Bulgaria has also been affected by discussions on how personal data is used. However, personal data protection is a post factum topic when problems and questions arise. Many Bulgarians have heard about personal data, but few are interested in finding out more. The protection of personal data is, generally, not taken seriously. 

At the moment, data protection in Serbia is primarily regulated by the provisions of the Law on Personal Data Protection, enacted in 2008, with the last amendments from 2012 (the “Law”). Naturally, a number of other laws also regulate certain aspects of data protection, and these other laws are to be interpreted together with the basic principles and general rules of the Law.

Almost five years after the European Commission submitted its first proposal on the reformation of the data protection landscape, a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has finally been adopted, designed to harmonize data protection across EU Member States. The GDPR will be directly applicable in all Member States as of May 25, 2018, placing, in the interim, all interested businesses in a race against time to observe all the compliance obligations it imposes.

On the eve of the EU reform package on data protection rules coming into force, the wide disparities between the ways different public bodies process and manage citizens’ personal data have become apparent at the national and local levels.

Since the publication of Regulation No. 2016/679 of the European Parliament and Council on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (GDPR), it is certain that the regulatory framework of data handling and personal data protection will significantly change.

Even if you are not a lawyer, you must have heard about the so called “right to be forgotten.” You may know that it is a privacy right that allows you to demand removal of your personal information from web search results produced by a search engine and published on the Internet. The question is who is obligated to remove your personal data from the Internet upon your request. The answer is simple – the operator of that search engine, even if it is not located in your country of residence. For some mysterious reason, this simple answer does not appear to be clear to everyone.

Slovak legislation on personal data protection implementing the EU Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC is generally very strict when compared to the regulations of other EU Member states. These different rules – often, in Slovakia, excessively bureaucratic – resulting not only from legislation itself but also from its interpretation by the country’s Personal Data Protection Authority – often cause problems for both local entrepreneurs and international business groups with subsidiaries or branches in Slovakia. 

Conflict of Rights

The limits and understanding of patients’ right to confidentiality of their private personal data usually depend on the extent of the public interest in seeing it – the definition of which differs among EU Member States.

Due to technological advances, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to effectively manage the way their personal information is being collected and stored. It is thus quite surprising that the provisions of the Slovenian Personal Data Protection Act have managed to stay unchanged for almost ten years. But that does not mean that there have been no recent developments in the information privacy regulatory framework.