The adoption of Directive 2014/104/EU ("Damages Directive"), which introduced a level playing field for the private competition law enforcement regime among EU Member States, has paved the way for private enforcement to gain more traction in the EU.
By means of recent changes to the Energy and Gas Law no. 123/2012 (the “Energy Law”), the operators holding concession over the electricity distribution grid (the “Distribution Operators”) have been compelled to take over the ownership over private electricity distribution grids and related energetic capacities (the “Energetic Capacities”) in specific cases set out thereby. In addition, the amendments to the Regulation for the connection of users to the public interest electricity grids (the ”Connection Regulation”) which will enter into force in January 1, 2021 changed the ownership regime over the Energetic Capacities built for connecting new users (such as power producers), by recognizing the ownership right of such users and their right to sell the capacities to the Distribution Operators.
As at November 2020, many borrowers in Romania are still enjoying the moratorium on debt and interest payments introduced by the Government to help combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the moratorium period will lapse by December 31, 2020 and, if it is not extended, borrowers will need to resume debt service to avoid default.
The Tax Administration of the Republic of Serbia has recently published a call to natural persons who acquired income abroad in the past period to file tax applications, calculate and pay taxes and contributions for mandatory social insurance with relevant interest as soon as possible, in order to avoid offence liability.
On 20 March 2015 the Hungarian Competition Authority ("HCA") imposed a staggering fine on Auchan for abusing its significant market power. The HUF 1.06bln (approx. EUR 3m) fine is the highest ever imposed by the authority for the infringement of the Trade Act (Act CLXIV of 2005 on Trade). Although the decision is from 2015, the Hungarian courts put an end to the judicial review only now. The Supreme Court of Hungary has upheld the HCA's decision in its entirety.
Pharmacy Law no. 266/2008 (the “Pharmacy Law”) was recently amended by Law no. 243/2020 approving the Government Ordinance no. 4/2018 amending and supplementing the Pharmacy Law no. 266/2008 which was published in the Official Gazette of Romania no. 1042 (“Law no. 243/2020”). The new amendments entered into force on November 9, 2020.
Law no. 223/2020 on simplifying and eliminating the bureaucracy involved in transfer of shares and payment of share capital by amending Romanian Companies Law No. 31/1990 (“Companies Law”) was published in Issue no. 1018 of the Official Gazette of Romania dated 2 November 2020 and entered into force on 5 November 2020.
In its recent judgment C-311/18 (Schrems II) the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) undermined, to a certain extent, the principles established in previous years for the transfer of personal data outside the EEA, in particular to the US. Many exporters, i.e. controllers and processors transferring data to third countries, were surprised by the verdict and left in confusion. Fortunately, the European Data Protection Board (EDP) came to the aid and adopted recommendations on measures that supplement transfer tools to ensure compliance with the EU level of protection of personal data.
Since this spring, the Czech Republic has been struggling with the coronavirus SARS CoV-2. The response to the pandemic in the field of labour law was the creation of the so-called Antivirus programme, which aimed to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic by providing a state-backed financial contribution to salary costs. This should prevent mass redundancies and keep unemployment levels under control. Schemes A to C of the Antivirus programme were created on an ad hoc basis as an immediate response to the negative effects of the pandemic.
In 2014 Hungary introduced the advertisement tax as a direct business tax that must be paid by media content and service providers and publishers of advertisements. The tax base is the net sales revenue originating from the taxable activities in the tax year, i.e. the turnover and not the profit, and a progressive tax rate was established originally with six tax rates between 0% and 40%. After several amendments, since 1 July 2017 the tax rates were 0% up to HUF 100 million and 7.5% for the portion exceeding this amount. From 1 July 2019 the advertisement has been temporarily suspended and the tax rate was decreased to 0%.