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There are few healthcare reforms that could be called revolutionary. Even fewer have been initiated in the courtroom. Case C-412/23 could be one of those rare cases. On July 5, 2023, the European Commission brought an action against the Slovak Republic for allegedly infringing Directive 2011/7 on combating late payment in commercial transactions by continuously failing in 2015, 2016, 2017, and from 2018 onward to ensure that public entities providing healthcare pay their commercial debts within a maximum period of 60 calendar days.

Recently, Slovak legislation underwent a significant change with the adoption of the Act on Transformations of Commercial Companies and Cooperatives. Effective as of March 1, 2024, the act marks a departure from previous regulations within the Slovak Commercial Code, which had grown rather inflexible and outdated in the area of corporate transformations.

The solar power plant market in Hungary became very active lately and it is expected to grow further still. Transactions in this market require more due diligence than, for example, the sale of a business property, and it seems that as of this January, foreign investors will need to consider this further aspect simultaneously when making a business decision on a solar market transaction.

Hungary recently adopted the so-called “ESG Act” (Act CVIII of 2023) relating to corporate social responsibility, taking into account environmental, social, and governance aspects, in order to promote sustainable financing and unified corporate responsibility. The act will gradually enter into force for different players within three years but, in general, is applicable as of January 1, 2024. The act is a framework regulation and further detailed rules are to be set out in government decrees yet to be issued to give greater clarity to market participants.

Hungary’s real estate market has undergone a notable transformation in response to recent economic shocks – war, soaring energy prices, sharp interest rate hikes, and high inflation rates. Initially taking a cautious wait-and-see approach, market players have now shifted toward a more proactive approach, navigating the complex economic environment through innovative strategies. Among these strategies, mixed-use developments have gained traction. They’re seen as resilient to market turbulence but also provide innovative development opportunities and new ways for urban transformation.

I looked at M&A transactions in the last years using publicly available sources, our own transactions, and information provided by corporate finance advisory partners. I found that in 37% of the cases, purchasers came from Western Europe, in 37% from Hungary (private companies or the Hungarian state), and in 11% from investors in the CEE, while transactions where the purchasers were of US or Asian origin were negligible (US 3%, Asia 4%).

Important changes entered into force as of January 1, 2024, in the world of designs. As a result, it will be easier, faster, and cheaper to obtain IP design protection in Hungary.

Hungary’s litigation landscape was shaped by the economic trends, domestic legal reforms, and global crises of the past 10-15 years. From the 2008 economic crisis to the implementation of the new Civil Procedure Code in 2018 and the transformative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a rollercoaster ride.

In the burgeoning landscape of alternative energy, hydrogen emerges as a beacon of hope, championing the transition toward a cleaner, more sustainable future. However, not all hydrogen is created equal, and the color code attributed to its production process not only paints a picture of its environmental footprint but also hints at the broader implications for our global energy matrix. This article delves into the colorful world of hydrogen, exploring the significance and implications of its diverse hues.

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.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria’s Competition Protection Commission (CPC) unveiled its strategic priorities for 2024, identifying sectors and activities that warrant increased regulatory scrutiny. These priorities will guide the CPC’s operational functions, which include market monitoring, signal verification, the initiation of administrative proceedings, market investigations, and ongoing enforcement actions.

Having a somewhat steady Government and Parliament since mid-2023 has led to more predictability in the Bulgarian regulatory environment for renewables. In October 2023, some important and significant changes to the RES Act entered into force, thus solidifying local support for renewable energy.

Deal activity (both in terms of value and volume) dropped at the end of 2023 and the start of 2024. This is hardly surprising considering the overall unstable international environment and the variety of destabilizing factors at play. Regardless, we see signs of recovery.

It has started humbly, but 2024 is expected to be a year of interesting political developments. At a global level, there will be elections for the President of the United States and for the European Parliament. At a local level, in Bulgaria, a rotation of the government is expected, which means that, according to the preliminary agreements between the governing parties, the position of the Prime Minister will be taken by Mariya Gabriel (of the GERB party; currently at the position of Deputy Prime Minister), who will replace the current Prime Minister – Nikolay Denkov (of the We Continue the Change party) – in March. For now, it is still questionable whether this switch will trigger the termination of the mandate of some of the ministers.

Galloping inflation and post-COVID-19 challenges are shaping the litigation market in Austria, with an unparalleled volume of insolvencies feeding into a high rate of litigation. Meanwhile, the Austrian government remains hesitant to implement the European collective redress system.

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