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On February 29, 2024, energy experts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Turkiye, and Ukraine sat down for a virtual round table moderated by CEE Legal Matters Managing Editor Radu Cotarcea to discuss the key developments in the field of oil & gas over the past few years.

Renewable energy is a key priority within the EU due to its goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. This has intensified following the energy crisis experienced in 2021 and 2022. Against the backdrop of the post-crisis environment, and driven by the REPowerEU initiative, Croatia is adopting crucial legislation – the Rules on the organization of the wholesale electricity markets (Rules).

Croatia's economic outlook is on the rise, with improvements in mergers and acquisitions activity compared to last year according to Lovric Novokmet & Partners Partner Mate Lovric who discusses the positive trends in GDP growth, investments, and key sectors like energy and tourism that are driving this upward trajectory.

Bardek, Lisac, Musec, Skoko, and Partners in cooperation with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz has advised Erste&Steiermaerkische Bank and Privredna Banka Zagreb on the more than EUR 130 million Valamar Collection Resort financing.

Selih & Partnerji, Polenak, Maric & Co, Kalo & Associates, and BDK Advokati have advised NLB Skladi on its acquisition of Generali Investments in North Macedonia. Papazoski and Mishev, an independent law firm in cooperation with PwC, advised Generali Investments.

Due to various historical reasons, a large percentage of undeveloped construction land in Croatia is still owned by the state. As a result, developers of (primarily greenfield) real estate projects have often had to go through a laborious and lengthy process to acquire construction land from the Republic of Croatia. Recent legislative changes could mark a decisive shift toward decentralization and a more efficient management system, potentially streamlining processes that were previously mired in bureaucratic complexities.

In the realm of modern politics, where every move is meticulously calculated and every tactic scrutinized, the strategic employment of intellectual property (IP) has emerged as a potent tool for political parties. From catchy slogans to iconic logos, intellectual property has become integral to shaping public perception and garnering support during election seasons. However, the fine line between legitimate use and exploitation of IP often blurs, raising ethical and legal questions about the (ab)use of intellectual property by political entities.

CMS has advised Greece's Public Power Corporation on a cooperation framework agreement for the development and construction of almost 90 solar projects of up to 2,000 megawatts in Romania, Italy, Bulgaria, and Croatia. The deal is valued at up to EUR 2 billion and is expected to be implemented over the next three years.

Impactful legal updates are on the ticket in Croatia according to NLaw Managing Partner Martin Hren, and the stage is set for changes that could significantly bolster the Adriatic country's start-up ecosystem and IT sector, with more work needed to support renewable energy projects and new technologies.

In The Debrief, our Practice Leaders across CEE share updates on recent and upcoming legislation, consider the impact of recent court decisions, showcase landmark projects, and keep our readers apprised of the latest developments impacting their respective practice areas.