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Like many countries in the region, 2020 in North Macedonia’s was an election year, and the recent formation of its new government, according to CMS Partner Marija Filipovska, “hopefully heralds a bit more stable of a period to come.” According to her, “the newly elected government is strongly pro-EU and is also very vocal in favoring Western investment” which she believes could “create a stable environment in which FDI can flow stronger if (the government) is doing their job.”

The SEE Legal law firm alliance has announced the formal launch of two new practice groups, one dedicated to Employment and Immigration, headed by Kolcuoglu Demirkan Kocakli Counsel Maral Minasyan, and one dedicated to Intellectual Property, headed by Selih & Partnerji Partner Natasa Pipan Nahtigal.

For our Checking In feature, we reach out to partners and heads of practice across CEE to learn how specific practice areas are faring in their jurisdictions. This time around we asked firm Energy experts: What, in your view, is the most effective scheme currently in place in your jurisdiction to attract investments in renewable energy? If you had to pick one, what additional step from the regulators do you believe would have the most positive impact?

As Europe begins a tentative re-opening following several difficult months of quarantining, social distancing, and working-from-home, we spoke to CMS’s Warsaw-based Employment Partner Katarzyna Dulewicz and Vienna-based Dispute Resolution Partner Daniela Karollus-Bruner for their perspective on the process.

The adoption of the new Law on Energy of North Macedonia in 2018 established the foundations for stability, competitiveness, and economic functionality of the energy sector. In addition, the Energy Law declared the promotion of renewable energy sources and encouraging energy efficiency a priority. This, in a short time, has contributed to increased investment in the field of renewables.

Polenak has advised NLB Bank Skopje, as part of a syndicate including other regional banks NLB Ljubljana, Raiffeisen Bank Albania, Komercijalna Banka Skopje, and Halk Bank Skopje, on a EUR 72 million syndicated loan to East Gate. East Gate was advised by solo practitioner Zeqir Zeqiri.

“NATO accession and the green-light to opening EU accession talks were strong indicators of political stability in North Macedonia in March this year“ begins Tatjana Shishkovska, Partner at the Polenak Law Firm in Skopje. “But the COVID-19 crisis has made things more complicated.“

Cultivation of medical cannabis has become a lucrative business in recent years. Countries around the world have started legalizing this controversial crop, approving medical cannabis in particular in some capacity. In 2018, Canada made history by passing the Cannabis Act, thus becoming the first industrialized nation in the world (and second overall, after Uruguay) to pass legislation allowing adults to purchase marijuana. In addition, over 33 states in the USA have made the use of cannabis legal for medical purposes.

“What we have currently is a technical government,“ says Elena Dimova-Ivanoska, Junior Partner at Cakmakova Advocates, “made up from both the current ruling coalition members and the opposition, and formed to oversee the period leading up to the parliamentary elections which were to take place this April.“ These plans were cut short by the COVID-19 crisis, when the technical government was handed a far more complex task to resolve.

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