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Insights February 2024

Update: ESG reporting obligations in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia

With the 6 July 2024 deadline for the implementation of the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (EU) 2022/2464 (the "CSRD”) looming, Member States across the EU have been moving at different speeds to adopt their respective local implementing legislation. Our second status update on the CSRD implementation in Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia is available here. At the time of writing, three of the six countries in Central and Eastern Europe that we have been following – the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania – have already adopted legislative acts that, at least partially, implement the CSRD into national legislation. Slovakia has brought a draft act to parliament

Insights February 2024

Provisional agreement reached on the Ecodesign Regulation and its impact on the fashion sector

As of 5 December 2023, the Council and European Parliament reached a provisional political agreement regarding a „Regulation establishing a Framework for setting ecodesign requirements for sustainable products“. The upcoming EU sustainability legislation is crucial as it affects a substantial part of the Consumer & Retail sector. It is of particular importance in the field of fashion and luxury industry as the points which the provisional agreement addresses have been among the hot topics of recent years in this sector. As we are closely monitoring the legislation process, click here or on the image below to explore the overview of key points of the adopted provisional agreement.

Insights February 2024

A year in review: A brief analysis of the Serbian banking sector in 2023

As of the close of 2022, Serbia's banking sector faced challenges amid global economic conditions. The year 2023 brought its distinct set of obstacles, with a noteworthy slowdown in global inflation compared to the last quarter of 2022. However, the undeniable focal point is the war in Ukraine, triggering a faster inflationary spiral due to increased energy and food prices. Key mergers and acquisitions In 2020, Komercijalna Banka, the largest state-owned Serbian bank, was acquired by Slovenian NLB Banka, leading to the merger of NLB Banka and Komercijalna Banka into NLB Komercijalna Banka. Vojvodjanska Banka was acquired by Hungarian OTP Bank, followed by OTP Bank's acquisition of Societe Generale Bank. In 2021

Insights February 2024

Google ends geofence warrants

Location data has become an integral part of everyday digital life, providing easier navigation through various digital tools, such as maps. Despite the importance of making navigation easier, the need to preserve data privacy, such as location data, has been cast to the shadows. In light of this misuse of our private data, Google is finally set to implement a ground-breaking update for its widely used mapping service, Google Maps. The update relates to a change in the way Google stores data: instead of on the cloud, data will be stored on users’ devices. The anticipated update aims to prevent authorities from accessing users’ location history data through geofence warrants, which have long been considered controversial

Insights February 2024

Significant changes envisaged to grid connection for new power-generation capacities in Romania

The Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (“ANRE”) has announced important amendments to the rules for connecting new power-generation capacities to the public network. On 1 February 2024, ANRE released for public consultation a draft order (“Draft Order”) regarding the approval of the Methodology for capacity allocation of new power-generation capacities (the “Methodology”) as well as other amendments to ANRE Order no. 59/2013 approving the public grid connection regulation (the “Connection Regulation”). Comments to the Draft Order may be submitted to ANRE by 1 March 2024. The main changes introduced under the Draft Order concern (i) a change of the grid connection process applicable to power-generation

Insights February 2024

Recent regulatory developments regarding the use of body cameras in Hungary

The use of body cameras by law enforcement (both police forces and local government) and private security services started almost two decades ago and has been becoming more and more ubiquitous globally. It is of course a challenge in terms of privacy, as it is not only a relatively new technology where the social discourse has not had the time to form a common societal position, but it is also very invasive as in most cases people interacting with the wearer do not have the choice to use or not use the camera system. National and international authorities are just starting to form their opinion and issue guidelines on the use of body cameras, that is why it is notable that the Hungarian data protection authority

Insights January 2024

Hungarian Government's decree on reducing food inflation to enter into force

The Hungarian government's decree on measures to combat the so-called “shrinkflation” will enter into force on 1 February 2024. “Shrinkflation” refers to the hidden raising of prices by reducing the size of products. The measures apply to pre-packaged products that are sold by retailers in one or more sizes in a uniform appearance. The new measures primarily affect convenience store retailers with a net turnover of more than HUF 1 billion, but also expressly impose obligations on manufacturers. Moreover, the obligations of manufacturers forms the basis of compliance. The manufacturer (or the first distributor/wholesaler in Hungary) is obliged to inform both the retailer and the National Food Chain Safety

Insights January 2024

New legislation in the real estate sector in Hungary

With the adoption in 2023 of Act C on Hungarian Architecture (the "New Legislation"), Hungary’s parliament amended several laws affecting the real estate sector, some of which entered into force on 30 December 2023. At the same time, the New Legislation repeals certain laws, or provisions thereof, including Act LIII on the Acceleration and Simplification of the Implementation of Investments of Special Importance to the National Economy (2006) (the “Previous Legislation”). Among the new changes, special attention should be given to the rules on prioritised investment projects. Below we provide a brief overview of several important provisions. A construction works project and administrative matters relating

Insights January 2024

Kinstellar contributes to International Employment Lawyer's Guide to Restructuring a Cross-Border Workforce

Kinstellar is delighted to have contributed to IEL’s Guide to Restructuring a Cross-Border Workforce 2023. In 2023, cross-border restructurings increased significantly – a trend that is expected to persist in early 2024. But conducting the process fairly, and thoroughly, poses a distinct set of hurdles for multinationals. The global guide examines and provides, across 45 jurisdictions, clear answers to the key questions facing employers when conducting a restructuring, under the following areas: Reduction in workforce Restructuring/Re-or ganisation of the business Changing terms and conditions Areas to watch Kinstellar employment team covered the following jurisdictions:

Insights January 2024

New Frequency Allocation Plan and Licensing Conditions come into force in Ukraine

The Plan for the Allocation and Use of the Radio Frequency Spectrum of Ukraine (the "Plan") and Conditions of Licencing for the Use of the ‘L02’ Radio Frequency Spectrum (the "Licensing Conditions") have recently come into force in Ukraine. The Plan and Licensing Conditions are developed in compliance with Ukraine’s existing undertaking to bring its legislation into line with applicable EU regulations. Specifically, the Plan aims to optimize and harmonize spectrum usage, consolidate the spectrum licensing regime, clarify frequencies assignment and lay the groundwork for the introduction of new technologies in Ukraine. Click on one of the images below or click on the following links to read the overview in

Insights January 2024

Online conference “Changes to legislation in the Czech Republic in 2024” (Změny v legislativě 2024)

On 17 January, Kinstellar’s Prague office held an online conference entitled "Changes to Legislation in the Czech Republic in 2024" for our clients’ senior management as well as for our partners and regional organisations. We hosted the online conference with aim to help our clients and partners become familiar with the latest laws, decrees, regulations, and directives that receive practically every day. Our experts covered in detail the changes to Czech and European law that take effect in 2024, with an emphasis on how these changes will affect businesses' day-to-day operations. We also focused on the most notable cases of recent judgments by the Czech Constitutional Court, which affect judicial practice

Insights January 2024

The AI Act – EU’s First Artificial Intelligence Regulation

In a ground-breaking move, on 8 December 2023, the European Parliament officially reached a provisional agreement with the Council on the AI act. With this agreement, the European Union has implemented the world's first comprehensive regulation on artificial intelligence, known as the AI Act. This landmark regulation is now in it’s final stage of implementation, as it still needs to be formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council. The AI Act aims to safeguard the well-being and fundamental rights of EU citizens, setting a precedent for global AI governance. In April 2021, the European Commission proposed the first European Union ("EU") regulatory framework for artificial intelligence ("AI"). The main objective