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Up until the adoption of the Laws on Property Rights in Republika Srpska (in 2008) and in the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina (in 2013), the only legal basis to obtain a construction permit and erect a lawful building was to first acquire ownership over the land on which the building is to be constructed, usually through a purchase agreement, as, according to the provisions of the applicable Laws of Physical Planning, as well as the general legal framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina, an investor must obtain construction rights over real property to obtain a construction permit for that property.

It is symptomatic of the importance of the real estate market that Generation Y – members of which are often referred to as “millennials” – is also, sometimes, described as “Generation Rent,” because so many young adults have been priced out of the housing market.

A year has passed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Austria and many legal problems remain unresolved. The problem seems new, but the legal provisions of the Austrian Civil Code em-ployed to deal with thae consequences of the pandemic are more than 200 years old, and were drafted in order to deal with quite different pandemic effects. The law refers to “extraordinary events” such as “fire, war or pandemic, major floods, weather events.” There is agreement that COVID-19 is a pandemic and therefore an extraordinary event in the meaning of the law.

Turkey continues to prioritize the adoption and consistent implementation of sustainability principles throughout its economy. Indeed, the Turkish Capital Markets Board recently set a voluntary threshold for companies subject to its supervision, and many are finding the use of green buildings valuable in reaching them. In addition to their economic benefits, green buildings – which are socially and environmentally compatible with their environment – are gaining importance in determining a company’s level of sustainability credibility and sustainable investment commitment.

Only a handful of recent legislative initiatives have sparked as much interest in Slovakia’s business community as the draft of the country’s new Competition Act. What at first seemed to be a routine implementation of the EU ECN+ Directive resulted in a flood of comments and proposals. More than 350 suggestions from the public and various authorities were submitted after the original draft of the new Competition Act was published. Now the bill, having been approved by the cabinet, is entering deliberations in Parliament. The act, which will regulate the daily course of business of every entrepreneur under threat of exorbitant sanctions, certainly deserves a brief summary.

Well past the imposed transposition deadline (i.e. 31 December 2020), on 29 April 2021, the Ministry of Energy published in transparency the draft law on the transposition into the national legislation of Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for the internal market for electricity and amending Directive 2012/27/EU (the “Draft Law”).

On 4 May, the detailed debate has been closed in the Hungarian Parliament in relation to the legislative proposal, which aims to implement Directive 2019/1023, also known as the restructuring directive, providing debtors with a pre-insolvency tool to rescue their viable but struggling enterprises. Restructuring proceedings fill a gap in the Hungarian legal environment and may also help enterprises recover financially from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On January 1, 2021, Act No. 421/2020 Coll. – the “2021 Moratorium Act” – took effect in Slovakia, introducing a protective framework for businesses affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and temporarily shielding them from a run on assets by creditors. The 2021 Moratorium Act replaced the temporary moratorium scheme introduced in May 2020, which had been in effect until that point.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hungarian government launched Government Decree 47/2020 (III. 18.), introducing a moratorium on the payment of principal, interest, and fees arising from facility, loan, and financial lease contracts until December 31, 2020. This moratorium, which we will call the “2020 Payment Moratorium,” was automatically available to both natural person and business entity borrowers, although they could opt out of if they wished.

The current backbone of the EU’s e-Commerce Directive was adopted 20 years ago. Since then, the landscape of the digital economy has changed significantly, as most online platforms in use today did not exist in 2000. As a result, many digital experts claim that competition enforcers have failed to tackle some of the specific challenges created by the new digital platforms.

Recently published case law from Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition – the Hungarian acronym is OGYEI – deals with various aspects of pharmaceutical promotional activities and interactions with health care providers. The OGYEI investigated the commercial practices of Aramis Pharma Kft., Lilly Hungaria Kft., and Sager Pharma Kft., and imposed fines following the discovery of infringements.

Almost a year ago, in March 2020, the Hungarian regulator – the NMHH – announced that 5G frequency licenses had been auctioned for a term of 15 years with a 5-year extension option to Magyar Telekom, Vodafone, and Telenor (a fourth operator, Digi, did not acquire a 5G license). These three operators spent a total of HUF 125.8 billion on these 5G licenses, enabling them to provide next generation mobile broadband services. Vodafone started 5G services in downtown Budapest in 2019 on previously-acquired frequencies, using the newly acquired frequencies to improve coverage in other cities and certain rural areas. The 5G services – as well as related applications and technology products – are expected to fundamentally change the industry, as demand for broadband services has increased exponentially due the widespread introduction of home office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original foreign direct investment screening regime was adopted in Hungary pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of the European Parliament and of the Council and became effective on January 1, 2019. Instead of amending the original regime, a new parallel FDI screening regime was introduced in late May 2020 to protect Hungarian strategic sectors during the COVID-19 period. This second regime was fine-tuned in the middle of June, 2020 and then again at the end of October, 2020. The notification obligation under the second regime is applicable to relevant transactions made before June 30, 2021.

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