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As Europe begins a tentative re-opening following several difficult months of quarantining, social distancing, and working-from-home, we spoke to CMS’s Warsaw-based Employment Partner Katarzyna Dulewicz and Vienna-based Dispute Resolution Partner Daniela Karollus-Bruner for their perspective on the process.

Montenegro is continuing to develop its energy sector by creating appropriate legislative, regulatory, institutional, and financial frameworks to encourage greater investment from the private sector. As part of this process, Montenegro is moving towards harmonizing its energy legislation with that of the European Union, the Energy Community, the World Energy Council, and the International Energy Agency, recognizing energy as a pillar of the country’s overall, sustainable, and long-term stable development, with evident positive macro-economic effects.

Working outside of the employer's business premises deeply conflicts with the traditional concept of the working environment based on the worker's physical presence in a determined workplace. Nevertheless, exponential technological progress and globalisation trends have changed widely accepted notions about employment and placed work productivity above any other employment indicator. Therefore, the employee's physical presence in the employer's business premises has ceased to be a decisive condition for their inclusion in the organisation and processes. Furthermore, the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated the significance and benefits of remote work and anticipated its expansion in the years to come.

The new Montenegrin Companies Act ("Official Gazette of Montenegro", no. 65/20) [Zakon o privrednim drustvima] ("Companies Act"), which entered into force on 11 July 2020, is an innovative and thoroughgoing codification of Montenegrin Corporate Law. The legislator opted for a comprehensive legal instrument which, compared to the previous law, contains more detailed and exhaustive rules determining the establishment, management, restructuring, termination and functioning of business entities.

The new law about legal entities/Law of The Companies was adopted at the Official Gazette No. 65/20 on the 03.07.2020 and is in force since the 16.07.2020/ when it was introduced in Montenegro.

Over the past few years CMS advised the OTP Bank Group on an extensive series of acquisitions across Bulgaria, Moldova, and former Yugoslavia. This series of separate deals was shortlisted for CEE Legal Matters’ CEE Deal of the Year in each of the countries involved, actually winning the 2018 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria and the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Montenegro. We reached out to Eva Talmacsi, who led CMS’s multi-jurisdictional team, to learn more about the firm’s impressive work on OTP’s behalf.

“The current political situation in Montenegro could be described as turbulent,” begins Jelena Bogetic, Associate at BDK Advokati, as “the recent amendments to the country's Freedom of Religion act have spurred a lot of controversy and backlash from the public."

“The political situation in Montenegro reflects all the complexities that most Western democracies face at the moment,“ says Vladimir Radonjic, Managing Partner of Radonjic & Associates in Podgorica. “It feels like, in the past few months, since we began battling the crisis, politics has really taken a back seat.“ He says that this may change, though, as the pandemic weakens and a new normal emerges on the horizon.

“Things are moving in cycles [in Montenegro], as in most parts of the Balkans,“ says Partner Sasa Vujacic of Vujacic Law Offices. “This is an election year in Montenegro and that will be reflected on the business sector for sure, as we approach election day.“ Vujacic reports that the election date “should be no later than October of this year“ and says that, although more political influence will be felt in all sectors of business as it approaches, “not a lot of changes in Montenegro's political structure are to be expected."

The transportation sector is one of the most important factors for a country’s progress. Montenegro’s transportation sector has been transforming over the past few years towards the goal of harmonizing its infrastructure and services with European Union regulations. The Transportation Development Strategy of Montenegro for 2019-2035 (the “Strategy”) was adopted to regulate the guidelines and plans for future projects as well as to present the current state of the transportation sector in Montenegro. The Strategy aims to improve transportation in Montenegro and thus significantly enhance both tourism and business.

The new Labour Act (OGM, no. 74/19) (Zakon o radu) ("Labour Act") entered into force in Montenegro on 8 January 2020, replacing the 2008 Labour Act (OGM, nos. 49/08, 26/09, 88/9, 26/10, 59/11, 66/12, 31/14, 53/14 AND 4/18) ("2008 Labour Act").

In addition to their traditional role guiding companies through legal and regulatory waters and managing disputes, General Counsels are increasingly called upon to provide input on strategic matters. An expert panel at the second annual Balkan GC Summit considered how this change in the nature of the General Counsel role is manifesting itself in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

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