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In recent months, Bulgaria has undergone significant changes to its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) legislation intending to achieve the long-overdue complete transposition of the EU 2018/843 Directive into national law and meeting the higher standards set forth in the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recommendations on Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), especially following the country’s inclusion in FATF’s so-called “grey list” of jurisdictions under increased monitoring.  Naturally, these changes give rise to a number of new obligations for businesses to comply with. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the most significant changes.

Further to the December 2023 amendments to the Romanian regime for screening inbound direct investments (that we previously covered here), which formally included EU investors within the scope of screening, the Romanian Parliament has adopted a new law (the “New Law”) to further strengthen the approach towards EU investors.

On 11 July 2024, new foreign currency (“FX”) easings came into effect to increase Ukraine's investment attractiveness and raise private foreign capital. Specifically, the latest package of amendments, introduced by Resolution No. 83 of the National Bank of Ukraine (the “NBU”) dated 09 July 2024 (“Resolution No. 83”), includes the following FX liberalization measures.

One of the most current news this year, which turned out to be equally interesting to both legal experts and IT industry professionals, was the adoption of the European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act (“AI Act“) as the first regulatory framework regarding artificial intelligence (“AI“) adopted at the EU level. The aim of the AI Act is to bring the European Union (“EU“) to the forefront of the artificial intelligence race, while simultaneously ensuring the protection of human rights, the environment, the rule of law, and democracy.

The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) ordered the National Revenue Agency (NRA) to repay default interest charged on precisely defined and fully paid advance corporate income tax instalments that were not declared.

Last week was full of exciting news in relation to AI in Romania. First, the long-awaited AI Act was published in the EU’s Official Journal on 12 July, becoming Regulation (EU) 2024/1689. The AI Act is an essential part of the EU’s extensive digital strategy, alongside the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act. The EU digital strategy aims to establish a thorough regulatory framework that tackles the diverse challenges and opportunities of the digital economy. Secondly, the Romanian Government approved the National Strategy regarding Artificial Intelligence (“AI Strategy”) on 11 July. The AI Strategy aims to contribute to Romania’s adoption of digital technologies in the economy and society, while respecting human rights and promoting excellence and trust in AI.

On 25 April 2024, Ukrainian Parliament adopted the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Labour Code of Ukraine on Establishing Additional Grounds for Termination of Employment Agreement at the Initiative of the Employer and Certain Other Issues” (the “Law”), which is aimed at strengthening the protection of Ukraine's national security.

Articles 13 and 14, along with other provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the GDPR), require businesses to provide individuals with comprehensive information about the processing of their personal data.

On 12 April 2024, the Council of the European Union adopted the revised text of Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings (the “Revised Directive”). The Revised Directive was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 8 May 2024 and Member States will have to transpose it into national legislation within 2 years of its entry into force (i.e. 28 May 2024).

The announcements made by the Hungarian Government on 8 July 2024 envisage a number of new and higher payment obligations, as well as other public taxes and restrictions, that will include a defence contribution, increased administrative fines, extra profit tax, changes to social contribution tax on entering the labour market, transaction and currency exchange levies

As of June 1, 2025, the traditional paper labour book will be phased out in favor of a digital alternative. All employment data will now be maintained in an electronic employment register managed by the National Revenue Agency (NRA). This transition is part of a broader effort to modernize the Labour Code and digitize employment relationships, aiming to eliminate the risks associated with physical document loss and to ensure that data is always current and accurate.

On 5 June 2024, the Czech government introduced a proposal to the Czech Parliament that brings fundamental changes to fleet insurance in the Czech Republic. This proposal provides additional obligations on fleet policyholders. Please see the details below.

The grace period until 30 June 2024 is slowly expiring for manufacturers to market products that do not yet comply with the Deposit Refund System (DRS) rules.

The National Commission for State Regulation of Energy and Public Utilities (NEURC) issued Resolution No. 1172 on 26 June 2024 "On Approval of Amendments to Certain NEURC Resolutions. This resolution allows for the signing of five-year agreements in the ancillary services market by introducing special auctions.

Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has secured the unanimous support of NATO country ambassadors for €40 billion (approximately US$43 billion) in lethal and non-lethal military aid to Ukraine in 2025. NATO leadership is expected to approve the agreement during the annual NATO Summit, which will take place July 9-11, 2024 in Washington, DC.

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