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Europe is awaiting the evolution of cybersecurity. On 3 May 2022, the Council and the European Parliament agreed on the so-called NIS 2 Directive (Directive on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union). NIS 2 repeals the currently effective NIS Directive.

The Times They Are a-Changin’ – such a description is more than appropriate for the municipality-developer relationship in recent months in the Czech Republic. The adoption of a new construction code promises to bring fresh wind into development projects and improve the relationships between these two major players. This is most likely to happen thanks to the re-introduction of the so-called planning agreements into the Czech legal environment. Although already recognized and used in the past, this new instrument is getting more and more noticed by Czech municipalities, most of all by the City of Prague, which, on January 27, 2022, adopted the brand-new Guidelines on the Investor Participation in Urban Development, the application of which is done through planning agreements.

Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine and the subsequent wave of refugees has been a new challenge for all European countries – and the Czech Republic is no different. A very low unemployment rate and a shortage of workers is a long-standing problem in Czechia and, thus, this new situation brings not only challenges but also opportunities. There have been more job openings than workers in the Czech economy since 2018 and, in 2021, the Labour Office recorded about 350,000 job openings. This situation slowed growth in the Czech economy and, thus, accepting Ukrainian refugees happens to be not only a moral obligation but also in the country’s best interest and an opportunity for future growth.

Life Sciences R&D has consistently been touted as one of the Czech government’s top priorities – and the markets and investors have not been indifferent. We reached out to several experts to check up on the overall health of life sciences R&D in the Czech Republic and learn how that priority translates into practice.

The sixth package of European Union sanctions imposed on Russia is a widely discussed topic, yet the overall levels of preparedness to adopt the associated energy import ban varies from one country to another. Indeed, with Russian oil and gas exports being such a dominant source of energy for a number of European countries, it remains to be seen how all of them adapt to the change. To gain insight into how certain EU member states and non-EU countries are (likely) to fare in the immediate wake of the ban, we reached out to legal professionals from Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Moldova.

On July 7, four leading lawyers from Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Ukraine sat down for a virtual round table moderated by CEE Legal Matters Managing Editor Radu Cotarcea to discuss the increasing prominence of ESG issues and their impact on M&A transactions, due diligence procedures, and the role of the lawyers themselves.

Over the past few years, the phenomenon of ESG has grown in importance at a breathtaking speed. Originally an instrument in the financial markets allowing investors to better assess the risks in their investments, ESG has further evolved into a major legislative effort of the European Union.

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.

PRK Partners at a Glance

PRK Partners, one of the leading Central European law firms, has been helping clients achieve their business objectives almost 30 years. Our team of lawyers, based in our Prague, Ostrava, and Bratislava offices, has a unique knowledge of Czech and Slovak law and of the business environment. Our lawyers studied at top law schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and elsewhere. They also have experience working for leading international and domestic law firms in a number of jurisdictions. We speak your language, too. Our legal team is fluent in more than 15 languages, including all the key languages of the region.

PRK Partners has one of the most experienced legal teams on the market. We are consistently rated as one of the leading law firms in the region. We have received many significant honours and awards for our work. We represent the interests of international clients operating in the Czech Republic in an efficient way, combining local knowledge with an understanding of their global requirements in a business-friendly approach. We are one of the largest law firms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Our specialised teams of lawyers and tax advisors advise major global corporations as well as local companies. We provide comprehensive legal advice drawing on our profound knowledge of local law and markets.

Our legal advice delivers tangible results – as proven by our strong track record. We are the only Czech member firm of Lex Mundi, the world's leading network of independent law firms. As one of the leading law firms in the region, we have received many national and international awards, in some cases several years in a row. Honours include the Chambers Europe Award for Excellence, The Lawyer and Czech and Slovak Law Firm of the Year. Thanks to our close cooperation with leading international law firms and strong local players, we can serve clients in multiple jurisdictions around the globe. Our strong network means that we can meet your needs, wherever you do business.

PRK Partners has been repeatedly voted among the most socially responsible firms in the category of small and mid-sized firms and was awarded the bronze certificate at the annual TOP Responsible Firm of the Year Awards.

Our work is not only “business”: we have participated on a longstanding basis in a wide variety of pro bono projects and supported our partners from the non-profit sector (Kaplicky Centre Endowment Fund, Tereza Maxová Foundation, Czech Donors Forum, etc.).

Firm's website: www.prkpartners.com