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As the COVID-19 pandemic globally swept away the business-as-usual concept, many countries, including Croatia, were faced with a rising problem of workplace-based COVID-19 transmissions. Croatia had a remote work (RW) framework initially introduced in 2003, but its application in practice was considered rather exotic. Once RW became one of the main workplace-related responses to COVID-19, authorities and employers were suddenly faced with interpretation and implementation problems. As a temporary solution, the Ministry of Labor and Pension System (Ministry) issued a number of opinions regarding the RW regime. These opinions were intended to loosen the regulatory grip, usually by turning a blind eye to unambiguous and mandatory statutory requirements, for example, by interpreting that a pandemic constitutes such circumstances under which employers are allowed to unilaterally impose a RW regime.

Back in September 2021, the revised Act on the prohibition of unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food supply chain (the "UTPs Act") entered into force. As in all other EU Member States, the Croatian UTPs Act was revised to bring Croatia's legal framework in the area of unfair trading practices in business-to-business relations in the agricultural and food supply chain into compliance with the UTPs Directive.

The biggest story in Croatia, according to Kovacevic Prpic Simeunovic Partner Martina Prpic, is the preparatory work for the upcoming switch to EUR as the official currency, complemented by EU-driven updates impacting consumer protection, agriculture, and the upcoming tourist season.

Former Senior Associate Mia Kalajdzic has been appointed Partner and Head of the Employment practice area group at CMS Croatia, while former Senior Associate Sasa Sodja was appointed Partner and Head of the Corporate and M&A practice at CMS Slovenia.

Sustainable finance is at the very heart of the financial system ensuring financial service providers offer green products and push them and the corporate businesses to be greener, to reach a higher level of social and corporate relevance when making investment or financing decisions.

The Croatian tech sector has been booming lately. With Rimac and Infobip achieving unicorn status, several other tech companies well on their way to a valuation above EUR 1 billion, and the recent successful listing of several IT companies, it seems like the Croatian tech party is going strong, and everyone is invited.

Kinstellar has announced it is entering the Croatian market by integrating the Zuric i Partneri (ZiP) law firm. While the local firm will keep its name, "ZiP is now a fully integrated office of Kinstellar."

On July 21, 2021, the Croatian High Administrative Court confirmed the Croatian Competition Agency’s (CCA) cartel decision adopted against 14 Croatian driving schools. In its infringement decision dated December 30, 2019, the CCA established the existence of a price-fixing cartel between 14 Croatian driving schools and imposed fines in the total amount of HRK 415,000 (approximately EUR 55,500). During this cartel investigation the CCA conducted several dawn raids and established the existence of a price-fixing cartel based on, inter alia, WhatsApp correspondence exchanged between representatives and employees of cartel members. Based on CCA’s infringement decision, the content of exchanged WhatsApp correspondence between cartel members referred to the coordinated price increases for driving lessons starting from the beginning of 2018.

Political stability and predictability, shake-ups for the corporate and banking legislative frameworks, and a solid economic situation despite the pandemic – these are the current highlights in Croatia, according to Divjak, Topic, Bahtijarevic & Krka Partner Martina Kalamiza.

Earlier this year, the start-up scene in Croatia picked up speed with the Rimac Automobili – Bugatti deal. The burgeoning Croatian manufacturer, which focuses on constructing electric hypercars, struck a deal with global automotive giant Bugatti, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, to form a joint venture for the production of next-generation supercars.

With political changes on a local level in the nation’s capital and a booming tourism season, Croatia keeps defying the odds and making good progress despite an ongoing global pandemic, according to Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates Partner Marina Mesic.

What is ESG?  ESG refers to the three key factors (environmental, social and governance) when measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a business or company and it is commonly used in capital markets and commonly used by investors to evaluate the behavior of the companies, as well as determining their future financial performance.

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