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I. Introduction: Merger, in general, is a complex procedure which requires detailed and long formalities. Simplified merger creates an option for the joint stock companies to merge in a faster way without being subject to certain transactions.

In February 2019 the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic submitted a bill that aims to provide whistleblowers credible tools to report illegal conduct in the workplace and protect them against potential reprisals. The bill also introduces new duties for many employers.

The EU Shareholder Rights Directive II (2017/828) (SRD II), amending Directive 2007/36/EC as regards the encouragement of long-term shareholder engagement, must be transposed into national law by 10 June 2019.

The CRISPR method: Genome editing designates new methods that allow targeted interventions to be carried out in the genetic material, the genome of a cell. The CRISPR/Cas method is a molecular biological method to specifically cut and modify DNA ("genome editing" or "gene scissors"). Genes can be inserted with the CRISPR/Cas9 method or used only remotely or switched off. This method was discovered in 2012, originally as a defence mechanism of bacteria against viruses. Soon, researchers around the world were using it to modify the DNA of a wide variety of organisms.

On 25 April 2019 the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on the amendments to the Law on the Registration Procedure with the Cadaster of Real Estate and Utility Lines (“Official Gazette of RS”, no. 31/2019), which amendments came into force on 30 April 2019.

JPM’s Ivan Petrović recently provided an expert overview on noticeable tendency of excessiveness with regard to legal framework in construction regulations.

Incorrect land register entries may trigger public liability. But in a recent decision the Austrian Supreme Court (1 Ob 198/18a) held that incorrect land register entries can only constitute public liability claims for a certain group of people.

According to a recent amendment to the Hungarian Act on Sport in March 2019, an international sport association – recognized by the International Olympic Committee – will be classified and regulated as a subtype of sport associations in Hungary.

On May 30, 2019, Ministry of Justice (“Ministry”) prepared the judicial reform strategy document (“Strategy Document”) which introduces comprehensive changes and improvements to the Turkish judicial system. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey announced and presented the new reforms brought by the Strategy Document to the attendees of a conference on judicial reform strategy. 

The Hungarian Public Procurement Act was modified as of 18 April 2019, in order to comply with the provisions of the Directive 2014/55/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of on electronic invoicing in public procurement.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has declared in a recent case that when checking VAT transactions, the tax authority cannot ignore examining the full budgetary impact. Thus it is not acceptable for the authorities to deny the right of VAT deduction to a taxpayer without allowing the other taxpayer to accordingly reclaim the VAT that it paid. Furthermore, the court also found it unacceptable for the tax authority to base a fine only on the amount of the VAT deducted unlawfully without examining the tax shortfall actually caused. The ruling can be considered as another important step towards the creation of a fair VAT system.

On 1 April 2019 the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new act on the amendments necessary for the implementation of the European Union’s data protection reform (“Data Protection Reform Act”). The new act has a comprehensive nature, as it aims to finalise the implantation of the data protection reform in the affected (more than 80) sectoral laws.

In March 2019 the Hungarian Parliament voted to introduce a new form of asset management foundation, which will serve as a real alternative to the fiduciary asset management (trust) system (“bizalmi vagyonkezelés” in Hungarian).

In a recent decision (Ra 2015/11/0113), the Austrian Supreme Administrative Court (VwGH) inter alia addressed the question whether the application of stem cell therapy violates Section 49 of the Austrian Act on the Medical Profession (Ärztegesetz, ArzteG), which requires physicians to treat patients "… in accordance with state of the art medical science and practice" and to at all times act in the best interest of the patients.

The Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (“Agency”) announced1 the Draft Regulation on Sales, Advertising and Promotion of Medical Devices (“Draft Regulation”) on May 9, 2019. The Draft Regulation will replace the Regulation on Sales, Advertising and Promotion of Medical Devices (“Regulation”) currently in force. Through the announcement, the Agency expressed that the Regulation requires an amendment as a result of practical matters presented during the implementation of the Regulation and the current needs of the sector. The Agency has invited suggestions and comments from concerned parties until close of business on June 9, 2019, by post or through the Agency’s official e-mail address.

Last year Ukraine took several significant steps to encourage investments into the energy market. The Government announced a strategic goal of making Ukraine self-sufficient in energy and abandoning its dependence on imported gas.

Starting or continuing a mining project has always been subject to various licensing requirements. However, an amendment to spatial planning laws that became effective on March 15, 2019 increases the regulatory challenges faced by investors by introducing a completely new condition for obtaining the local municipality’s blessing, even for operations that are already underway. Therefore, the aftermath of the most recent regulatory changes should not be underestimated, as the number of mining sites exceeds 800 in Hungary.

Establishing a real and sustainable energy mix is a crucial task for every democratic state. In addition, any energy mix that has been chosen and put in place may change. Indeed, it has to, if the terms and conditions on which it was established undergo important changes. This, of course, applies in the Czech Republic as everywhere else.

The full liberalization of the Bulgarian Energy market has been the main focus in the sector for the last 18 months and continues to be the government’s objective.

The Slovak system for the support of renewable energy sources has been marked in recent years by a lack of transparency and strategic vision. Even though the Slovak Republic undertook to increase its share of energy from renewable sources to 14% by 2020, in fact in recent years the share of renewables in energy consumption has actually decreased. “Allegedly for technical reasons, virtually no renewable electricity sources have been connected to electricity distribution networks since 2014.”

At the end of 2018, the Government of the Republic of Serbia extended the validity of the Decree on Incentive Measures for the Production of Electric Energy from Renewable Energy Sources and High-efficiency Cogeneration of Electric Energy and Thermal Energy (the “FIT Decree”) until the end of 2019. The FIT Decree was initially valid until the end of 2018.

Almost 20 years ago, the Russian Government decided to develop a renewable energy sector and promote renewable energy projects in the country. These efforts brought huge investments and complex technologies to the Russian renewable energy sector, which now features major global industry players like Vestas, Fortum, Siemens, Enel, and Lagerwey.

Introduction: As one of the top twenty energy consumers worldwide, Turkey experienced rapid economic growth beginning in the early 2000s, and its energy requirements increased accordingly. The demand for energy in Turkey has been growing at an average rate of 6.5% over the past decade and official reports predict that the country will continue at this pace through 2020. The high demand for energy, liberal market conditions, and government incentives are attracting both domestic and foreign investors to the Turkish renewable energy market.

Will Romania Become One of the European Powers in the Energy Sector? The answer seemed clear last year: Yes it will, as the recent gas discoveries in the Black Sea offer Romania the opportunity to become an important voice on the European Union’s energy market.