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Since January 1, 2022, the Europe Now program has been in place in Montenegro, setting strategic goals for the country’s economic policy. Ten months into its tenure BDK Advokati Partner Luka Popovic and Harrisons Head of Montenegro Milan Keker look at what has been accomplished so far.

At the end of 2020, there were 26 banks operating independently from other banks in Serbia. At the end of 2021, there were 23 such banks.  A few merger processes are still ongoing and will lead to that number shrinking to just 19 before the end of 2022. 

According to the United Nations eGovernment Development Survey 2022, Serbia’s eGovernment Development Index was evaluated as “very high,” moving forward 18 places. Following the Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence, Serbia set the use of AI in the healthcare sector as a priority and started supporting projects for cooperation between public bodies and commerce to share and use data. Digitalization prevents corruption but, on the other hand, cannot meet the expectations of citizens if data protection principles are not implemented in real time.

The telecommunication industry in Serbia and the region is going through transformative changes at the core of its business. The market has seen significant consolidation and competition for consumers has become tough. Considerable investment has ensued in the sector, introducing significant changes in both services and delivery. These trends have sparked a remarkable focus shift from traditional land and mobile telephony services to information technologies and media distribution. Consumer needs and aspirations, fueled by the convergence of technologies, have set the bar high, and telecommunication companies have been able to adapt quickly.

M&A activity in Serbia finally showed some positive trends in 2022, despite high inflation and supply chain challenges. During the first three quarters of 2022, the Serbian M&A market has performed well, given the current economic environment, and was primarily defined by deals in the energy and real estate sectors, the IT industry, and further consolidation of the banking sector. 

Although there are several incentives for renewable energy projects supported by the state, there also seem to be several factors that could impede Serbia’s potential for renewables and deter further investments in the sector. Kinstellar Belgrade Managing Partner Branislav Maric, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic Senior Partner Jelena Gazivoda, and Gecic Law Partner Ognjen Colic weigh which will carry a stronger impact.

Global economic movements have led the real estate and construction sectors across CEE to face several issues: supply chain problems, rising construction material prices, and labor shortages, to name but a few, have made it difficult for real estate and construction projects to be completed with the same efficiency as before. Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners Partner Marija Bojovic, SOG Law Firm Partner Milos Gledovic, and Andrejic & Partners Partner Aleksandar Andrejic look at the extent to which these issues are reflected in the Serbian real estate market. 

The technology start-up sector in Serbia has, for a while now, been quite rewarding and attractive for investors from all walks of business. Looking at the past few years, the Balkan country has seen investments ranging from early-stage and entry-level all the way to complete buyouts, to the tune of several hundred million euros. With all this funding flowing into the country, Bojanovic & Partners Managing Partner Vladimir Bojanovic and Zivkovic Samardzic Partner Igor Zivkovski talk about where does it go afterward, and what kind of effects is it producing?

There is a growing concern, across CEE, about a potential wave of insolvency and restructuring proceedings. Given the economic aftermath of COVID-19, coupled with the ramifications of rising inflation and interest rates, energy crisis concerns, and the war in Ukraine – the road ahead seems bumpy at best.

Regional networks are a big deal in CEE of late, and one of the fastest growing alliances is Alliott Global Alliance. We sat down with AGA CEO Giles Brake to learn about the alliance’s history, strategy, and plans in CEE. We also reached out to AGA law firms across the region to find out more about what drew them in, what benefits they’ve been reaping, and their role as members of a global network.

Later this year, the European Parliament is expected to pass the Regulation on Foreign Subsidies distorting the Internal Market (FSR). CEE Legal Matters spoke with Schoenherr’s Volker Weiss, Johannes Stalzer, and Jan Kupcik to learn more about the new Regulation and its impact.

We aim above the mark to hit the mark.” – Ralph Waldo Emmerson. Choosing a profession is always a pivotal point in everyone’s life. Once we set our minds and find our path, we try to dedicate all our energy and effort to making the best of it. The 21st century, however, has already left a mark on all our careers with its constant demand for adapting to new needs, circumstances, and business and work climates. 

You know the Rock, Paper, Scissors game. That game people play to make such life-altering decisions as who goes out to buy the milk, who picks the kids up from kindergarten, or who gets to write this editorial. It’s all pretty straightforward and there’s even a World Rock Paper Scissors Championship. 

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