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.
The Law amending the Law on Mining and Geological Exploration (Official Gazette of RS no. 40/2021) entered into force on 30 April 2021 and most important changes refer to specification of certain solutions and more detailed normative regulation of individual issues, harmonisation with legal regulations in the field of environmental protection, introduction of e-business etc.
Intellectual property is usually perceived through three main rights: copyright, patent and trademarks. Sensitive market-relevant information is usually perceived just as a benefit, but rarely as a right. Protection of trade secrets certainly deserves more attention. To make it easier to all market players to easily comprehend this right and for authorities to apply it, Serbia adopted a new Law on Protection of Trade Secrets, which came into force on 5 June 2020 (the “New Law”). The main reason for the new regulation, as proclaimed by the lawmakers, is the alignment with the EU acquis (especially, the Directive (EU) 2016/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2016).
On 20 April 2021, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia enacted the Law on Gender Equality and amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Both laws are published in the Official Gazette of RS no. 52 of 24 May 2021 and will enter into force on 1 June 2021. The Law on Gender Equality will repeal the Law on Equality of Genders (Official Gazette of RS no. 104/09).
On November 20, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that BDK Advokati, working alongside Sweden’s Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyra, had advised Embracer Group AB on its acquisition of all issued shares of Mad Head Games d.o.o., a game development studio from Novi Sad, Serbia. SunjkaLaw advised Mad Head Games shareholders Nenad Tomic, Uros Banjesevic, and Aleksa Todorovic on the deal.
The development of infrastructure has been a long-standing priority in Serbia. The National Investment Plan (Serbia 2025) announced by the Serbian Government in December 2019 anticipated the allocation of approximately EUR 14 billion to major development projects to be completed by 2025. Most of the funds are to be allocated for infrastructure projects, including road, rail, air, and water upgrades.
The Ministry of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia has recently concluded a period of public debate on a package of amendments to the country’s energy laws. The draft law that has attracted the most attention certainly is the Law on Renewable Energy Sources (the “RES Draft Law”), but there is also a Draft Law on Energy Efficiency and Rational Energy Use (the “EE Draft Law”). Serbia already has laws governing this subject matter– renewable energy sources and rational use of energy – which raises a question about what has influenced the Ministry to propose that these two areas be governed in more detail in the future.
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.
The Serbian Ministry for Mining and Energy started 2021 in a busy fashion, initiating simultaneous public debates on draft amendments to key legislation in the energy and mining sectors. In the mining sector, the Ministry has offered draft amendments to the Mining Act for public hearing. The official reasons given for the reform are said to be the need to create better conditions for the development of mines, simplify administrative procedures, ensure environmental protection, and increase fiscal revenues.
I started practicing law in the mid-1990s, during a turbulent period in Serbia’s recent history. Corporate law, however, really took off in 2001 when the country opened its doors, after a full decade of isolation. Even then, it was unlike other Eastern European countries – instead of a stampede by major global law firms opening local offices in the hope of landing big privatization deals, only a few regional outfits sauntered into town to test the waters of the newly accessible Serbian legal market.