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Fair commercial practices and communication with consumers have always been a mandatory requirement for all businesses but now, with the updated regulations on unfair consumer practices, communication has an even higher importance – especially in light of rapid technological developments, the growing digital space, new digital solutions, and consumers becoming more and more vulnerable, both as a result of these developments and the already two-year-long pandemic.

Over the last years and especially during the high peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of being subject to harmful and systematic cyberattacks has massively increased. Although the aim of cybercriminals – to extort money – is still unchanged, their methods and targets have been developed in line with the overall increase of digitalization. In contrast to industries with a focus on sensitive data and trade secrets, such as pharmaceuticals, banks, or insurance companies, industrial companies have not focused on preventive measures against potential cyberattacks in the past. Nowadays, however, production machines are linked to each other via a network and are therefore threatened to the same extent.

With the world slowly reaching what many scientists label “a point of no return” for climate change, countries worldwide are doing their best to combat environmental damage. To that end, the European Union has developed climate and energy targets for the upcoming decade, stating that it is “vital that we direct investments towards sustainable projects and activities.”

The trend towards ESG issues has increased markedly on the Slovakian commercial real estate market. More and more Slovak companies are behaving responsibly and sustainably – under pressure from tenants, employees, contractors, customers, regulators, and investors who involve ESG in their decision-making.

Energy prices have been a salient issue in CEE for the past year. Part 1 of this article covered just how high the energy prices had climbed in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, and Turkey, the impact of those prices on people, businesses, and governments, as well as the reasons why some countries fared better than others. Then Russia’s war against Ukraine changed everything, making a new energy pricing normal seem more distant than ever. In Part 2 we look at what energy experts believe could alleviate the situation and whether the war has impacted those plans.

Montenegro is a small mountainous country located in Southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula, with a coastline on the Adriatic Sea, and with a specific real estate market that offers something for everyone’s pocket.

Since 2009 the Republic of Serbia has undergone major legislative changes aiming to simplify the process for issuing construction permits and to establish private ownership over land as an exclusive property right, replacing the permanent use right and the long-term lease, which are relics of the communist regime. Depending on the circumstances pertinent to the holder of the title, the conversion of the permanent land use and long-term lease rights into private ownership may be performed either free of charge or for a fee.

Had we been writing this piece mid-February, our description of the Polish real estate market would have been consistent with the trends encompassing the past two years: despite the pandemic, two sectors continue to boom – logistics and residential, including the still relatively new professional rented sector, with many big players moving into Poland over the past few months.

In most countries, the energy consumption of buildings reaches very high levels, making their energy efficiency potential high. Buildings play an important role in energy efficiency and make a significant contribution to combating climate change and energy consumption. Therefore, it is important to align the process, from the buildings’ design to their final completion and exploitation, with the pertinent green standards.

The COVID-19 pandemic undoubtedly hit the real estate market. In response, the government adopted a series of measures that included an extraordinary moratorium, often used by commercial tenants, and a rent reduction scheme in which the government subsidized the rent in cases where the landlord was willing to provide a discount. Most importantly, the crisis made the government abolish the 4% real estate transfer tax.

In “The Corner Office” we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. The question this time: Who was your favorite professor in university and why?

According to the CEE Legal Matters CEE By The Numbers report, between 2019 and 2021, Ukraine saw a large decrease in the number of ranked law firms and lawyers at ranked firms. While in 2019 the number of Ukrainian law firms ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 was 95, in 2021 the same number decreased to 69. Similarly, the number of ranked-firm lawyers decreased from 1,579 in 2019 to 1,338 in 2021. The decreasing trend is particularly visible in comparison to other CEE countries.

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