Gecic Law has announced the launch of its Artificial Intelligence & Robotics practice in Serbia, to be headed by Founding Partner Bogdan Gecic.
North Macedonia Ratified Two Agreements as Part of the Open Balkans Initiative
In February, the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia ratified the Agreement on the Conditions for Free Access to the Labor Market in the Western Balkans and the Agreement on the Interconnection of Schemes for Electronic Identification of the citizens of the Western Balkans as part of the Open Balkans initiative.
The CEE Winter Shutdown
With numerous reports of energy-related business shutdowns, we reached out to local experts across CEE to understand what different markets have been dealing with, in terms of work and production stoppages, and look into the broader impact.
Tackling Energy Inefficiency of Old Buildings With The Help of International Lenders
The energy crisis and rising costs are not the primary driver but have certainly accelerated discussions on energy sustainability. Responsible companies and real estate developers are already implementing construction strategies that enable energy sustainability and qualify for certificates such are LEED and BREEM. As the market is turning greener, real estate developers are motivated to do so: it increases the demand, secures financing, and provides an overall better company image.
Novelties in Tax Procedures – What You Need to Know
Amendments to the Tax Procedures and Tax Administration Act (“Act“) were adopted and entered into force on December 20, 2022. The following is a reminder of the most significant changes you should keep an eye on.
EU Charges Meta with Antitrust Violations Linked to Marketplace
In December, the European Commission (“Commission”) issued a Statement of Objections (“SO”) to Facebook’s parent company Meta Platforms Inc. The Commission said that based on its preliminary view, Facebook had violated EU antitrust rules by distorting competition for online display advertising on social media linked to Facebook Marketplace.
Hristina Kosec Makes Partner at Gecic Law
Gecic Law Head of Operations and Co-Head of the ESG practice Hristina Kosec has been promoted to Partner.
Corporate Governance in Serbia
Contributed by Gecic Law.
The Dawn of Green Protectionism?
In her keynote speech at the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos, Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission President, outlined yesterday the main pillars of the EU’s Green Deal Industrial Plan to boost Europe’s leadership in green technology on its road to carbon neutrality. “We know we have a small window to invest in clean tech and innovation to gain leadership before the fossil fuel economy becomes obsolete,” said von der Leyen.
(E-)invoicing in Serbia (2023)
At the beginning of last year, the Electronic Invoicing Act (“Act“) was passed, which entered into force on May 7, 2021. Since the Act brought significant changes to the Serbian economy, the application of some provisions of the Act is postponed, so the latest set of provisions will apply from January 1, 2023. It is when VAT payers must start issuing electronic invoices in all mutual transactions with other VAT payers from the private sector and transactions with public sector entities. Even in the very first stage of this Act, Gecić Law gave an insight into which novelties we can expect.
CBAM Final Deal – The World’s First Carbon Border Tariff
The European Union is fast-tracking the road to a greener future as EU institutions reach provisional agreements on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”) and the EU Emissions Trading System (“ETS”). After round-the-clock negotiations between EU officials, the “Fit for 55” legislative package with the ultimate goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 is now being finalized. What are the implications for non-EU countries?
Market Snapshot: Investments in Content and Infrastructure Drive the Telco Transformation
The telecommunication industry in Serbia and the region is going through transformative changes at the core of its business. The market has seen significant consolidation and competition for consumers has become tough. Considerable investment has ensued in the sector, introducing significant changes in both services and delivery. These trends have sparked a remarkable focus shift from traditional land and mobile telephony services to information technologies and media distribution. Consumer needs and aspirations, fueled by the convergence of technologies, have set the bar high, and telecommunication companies have been able to adapt quickly.
Market Snapshot: The Dawn of Unpredictability in Serbian Competition Law?
The Serbian Competition Authority (SCA) has been relatively busy lately, and the outcome is an abundance of soft law on the one hand and inconsistent practice in actual casefiles on the other.
Renewable Energy Ambitions in Serbia
Although there are several incentives for renewable energy projects supported by the state, there also seem to be several factors that could impede Serbia’s potential for renewables and deter further investments in the sector. Kinstellar Belgrade Managing Partner Branislav Maric, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic Senior Partner Jelena Gazivoda, and Gecic Law Partner Ognjen Colic weigh which will carry a stronger impact.
Jovana Velickovic Joins Gecic Law as Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution
Jovana Velickovic has joined Gecic Law in Belgrade as a Partner and Head of the firm's Dispute Resolution team.
EU and Western Balkans Commit to Reducing Roaming Fees
European Union (EU) and Western Balkans telecommunication operators signed a Roaming Declaration at the EU-Western Balkans Summit held on Tuesday in Tirana. According to the Declaration, Western Balkans – EU roaming charges will be reduced voluntarily from 1 October 2023, with subsequent reductions gradually leading to their complete elimination. The commitment was also reinforced as part of the Tirana Declaration, which was agreed upon at the Summit.
The Status of CEE Banking & Finance: A CEE Legal Matters Round Table
On November 10, four Banking & Finance experts from Croatia, Hungary, Romania, and Serbia sat down for a virtual round table moderated by CEE Legal Matters Managing Editor Radu Cotarcea to discuss banking consolidation, financing availability, the effects of high interest rates, bank capitalization, green financing, the specter of loan restructuring, and the other challenges the sector is facing.
Investing in the Real Estate Market in the Republic of Serbia
Continuing our series on opportunities for investment in Serbia, we discuss the real estate sector. Historically, countries have been reluctant to allow foreigners to acquire real estate. In the past, real estate (primarily lands) symbolized its owners’ power, and today apartments, buildings, houses, properties, mines, and fields have significant worth. Nevertheless, globalization has increased the dynamics of “international” real estate trade. Real estate has thus become an important segment in international investment, both as a secondary part of the project (leasing or even buying space for the investors’ regular business operations) and as the very purpose of the investment (real estate construction, exploitation of mineral resources, construction of roads, etc.). As discussed in our previous articles, Bilateral Investment Treaties (“BITs”) play a crucial role in encouraging and securing foreign investors to invest in a foreign country, this time in real estate.