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On 4 May 2023 the Bulgarian Act on the protection of persons who report or make public information on breaches ("Whistleblower Protection Act" or "WPA")1 adopted earlier this year enters into force, giving effect to the provisions of Directive (EU) 2019/19372 and imposing a number of obligations on employers in both the public and private sector.

On 20 April 2023 the European Parliament ("EP") finally approved the regulation on markets in crypto-assets ("MiCAR"). The approved final text of the MiCAR is yet to be formally endorsed by the Council, but the EP's approval means the biggest legislative hurdle towards the MiCAR entering into force has been cleared. The approval of the MiCAR follows the finalisation of the last details of the text, after a provisional agreement on the final draft compromise was reached during trilogue negotiations in June 2022.

On 23 March 2023, the Serbian government adopted Ethics Guidelines for the Development, Implementation and Use of Reliable and Responsible AI ("Guidelines"), which may be seen as yet another step in the process of harmonising Serbia's legislative framework with the European Union, following the Proposal for an AI Regulation announced by the EU Commission two years ago.

On 18 April 2023, the EU Parliament approved the provisional political plan to reduce CO2 emissions in the EU agreed on by the Council and the European Parliament on 18 December 2022. This plan is based on proposals of the "Fit for 55" package presented by the European Commission in 2021 to reduce the EU's net greenhouse gas emissions by 55 % compared to 1990 levels by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

The Central Bank of Hungary (MNB) is encouraging the banking sector to increase the level of green loans. To this end, significantly reduced capital requirements have been put in place when applying for loans, and green company bonds were introduced in summer 2020 as part of the MNB bond funding for growth scheme. The Hungarian government is now ready to intervene to achieve climate neutrality.

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