For the last decade or so, the video gaming industry has been witnessing an emergence, and then almost a mainstream adoption of a revenue-generating mechanic similar, if not outright identical, to gambling.
Not so long ago (12 years!) Serbia adopted the amendments to the Agricultural Land Act which was supposed to allow the use of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, mainly to support the growing renewable energy sector. Of course, this was conditioned with adopting an adequate Regulation by the Serbian Government, which everyone waited for since 2009. Finally, patience paid off and in July 2021, the Serbian Government adopted the Regulation on the conditions, manner and procedure for giving state-owned agricultural land for use for non-agricultural purposes (hereinafter: “Regulation”).
On 2 September 2021 Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced a 225 million euro fine for WhatsApp and ordered the company to amend its practices within three months. It is the largest fine ever from the DPC, and the second-highest under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
On June 14, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the former DLA Piper office in Ukraine had merged with Kinstellar. We spoke with Co-Managing Partners Olena Kuchynska, Margarita Karpenko, and Senior Counsel Daniel Bilak – the Management Committee of the combined team – to learn more about the merger and their plans going forward.
In the age of digital philosophy, when the electronic management of documents become more and more prominent in both private and public sectors, digitalization of invoices is rather a logical development than an innovative approach in the functioning of the supply chain. Harmonization of e-invoicing regulation in B2G sector has been in effect for seven years in the EU, while Serbia established an e-invoice system in 2019, prescribing mandatory registration of invoices issued in commercial transactions with the public sector on the central registry of invoices (CRF). The most recent novelty in the field happened with adopting the Electronic Invoicing Act and its by-laws when a comprehensive set of rules regulating e-invoicing came into effect.
Looking at the past 18 months, as economies across CEE contracted, the technology, media, and telecom sector has been surging. A balancing factor for economies, it helped avoid a deeper recession. For CEE law firms, TMT’s solid performance brought in a steady amount of work, helping polish what might otherwise have been a lackluster year.
The Ukrainian legal services market has been buzzing with work in the first half of 2021. CEE Legal Matters hosted a round table conversation in which Partners at Asters, Avellum, Integrites, Kinstellar, and Sayenko Kharenko discussed the driving forces behind the workload and their outlook for the months to come.
Technological progress has a magnificent impact on everyday business life, and one of the things made possible by it is creating the opportunity for employees to perform work outside their business premises. But although technological progress gave employers the means to operate their business through remote work, the rigidity in incorporating this work model in practice was shaken only after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, making the expansion of remote work models a result of practical necessity. The sudden spread of remote work in companies also brought concerns of legal nature, and questions like what are the best ways to regulate contracts, safety measures etc.
On 4 June 2021, the European Commission adopted two implementing decisions (Decision no. 2021/914 and Decision no. 2021/915) which contain Standard Contractual Clauses for processing and transferring of personal data and are set in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) (“GDPR”) with the hope of bringing about a higher level of personal data protection.
Despite the recent escalation of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and its negative impact on business in the country, Anastasiya Bolkhovitinova, Counsel at Kinstellar, says that telecommunications and IT have been on the rise, and significant legal changes were introduced on tech incentives, foreign direct investment, capital markets, and agricultural land.
The standard approach in cases involving abuse of dominant position implies that the competition authority determines the market influence of the company due to which it can operate in the relevant market to a significant extent independently of other market participants and, provided that the company has a dominant position, whether its actions result in abuse of such position. The standard approach came naturally in markets that are geographically and economically limited. The core of the principle is that the public authority reacts ex-post (after the event) to abuses, by imposing the obligation to terminate anticompetitive practices or imposing penalties for prohibited behaviour.
The global crisis, which arose as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, brought light, among other things, to the weaknesses of the Serbian public health care system. The daily mass collection of a person’s data on health – which, according to the Serbian Data Protection Act, is considered particularly sensitive data – became a regular occurrence during the pandemic.
Since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of the Republic of Serbia has, on several occasions, introduced measures aimed helping businesses maintain liquidity and working capital. These measures have included, among other things, direct subsidies worth a total of EUR 200 million in the form of loans available to entrepreneurs, cooperatives, micro-, small-, and medium-size businesses, state guarantee schemes to encourage banks to extend loans to businesses, and a moratorium on the repayment of loans which lasted until September 30, 2020.