Category: European Law, Trade & Enlargement

23 Nov 2022

Frontex Negotiations Reopened

New developments are coming up in Frontex agreements!  On November 18, 2022, the European Council gave the green light for the opening of negotiations to broaden the already signed cooperation agreements between Frontex and four Western Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia). This cooperation reflects the European integrated border management concept with non-EU countries and enables Frontex to carry out joint operations and deploy staff in these countries.  The arrangement became operational in 2019 with the signing of the first agreement with Albania.  Apart from the above countries, it includes Moldova and North Macedonia. On the other […]

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18 Nov 2022

Ivana Stojanović Raišić and Vuk Leković speak with eKapija

We were recently entered the finals in four categories for The Lawyer European Awards 2022 and became one of the most nominated law firms in the whole of Europe! As last year’s winner, Gecić Law was nominated for Law firm of the Year: South East Europe, a 150 million strong market, and entered the finals with three of its practice area teams for impressive achievements in competition, corporate and litigation, standing shoulder to shoulder with the crème de la crème of the entire continent. Gecić Law received the most nominations among this year’s contenders across all of Europe – an […]

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14 Nov 2022

European Parliament Adopts CSRD

On November 10, 2022, the European Parliament finally adopted the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (“CSRD“). The CSRD intends to expand the application of corporate sustainability standards across the market by including an even larger specter of business entities compared to the application scope of the Non-financial Reporting Directive (“NFRD“). NFRD applied only to large companies with more than 500 employees. In contrast, the CSRD comes with larger ambitions and will apply not only to large companies but also to listed SMEs and third-country companies with significant operations on the EU market and a daughter company or a branch office in the […]

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09 Nov 2022

Legal Treatment of Foreign Citizens and Liberalization of The Labor Market

According to the International Monetary Fund, in the next 30 years, Serbia could lose as much as a fifth of its domestic workforce.  On the other hand, the Serbian economy shows an opposite trend, and its growth creates a need for additional labor.  When the domestic labor market cannot meet the demands of employers, this opens the doors for foreign workers.  Of course, the national labor market is designed so that domestic citizens have a better position while foreigners face certain (legal) obstacles.  In that sense, in this analysis, we raise the question of the legislative treatment of foreigners in […]

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04 Nov 2022

Attention, Tech Companies: The Digital Markets Act is Now in Effect!

The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) entered into force on November 1, 2022, and it will start to apply in early 2023, while its “partner in crime,” the Digital Services Act, still awaits its moment in the limelight, announced to ensue in a year. Together they form a single set of new rules which aim to apply across the whole of the EU to create a safer and more open digital space.  One may say it’s all about digital, but essentially, it’s all about undistorted competition in digital! A New Digital Era Begins with the DMA! The DMA rocked the tech […]

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02 Nov 2022

Welcome, Digital Markets Act!

November 1, 2022, was a big day for the EU! And not only the EU.  The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) finally saw the light of day. As its implementation will start in six months, we need to be ready for all the changes it will introduce in the tech world. Incited by the good old competition case law, the DMA will tackle the concerns that the European Commission (Commission) had in its previous practice. So, on the one hand, there will be loads of new obligations to the tech companies meeting the criteria of being designated as gatekeepers, and on the […]

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18 Oct 2022

EU and ASEAN Sign World’s First Air Transport Agreement

The European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed yesterday in Bali the world’s first bloc-to-bloc Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA).  Most EU member states so far have had bilateral agreements with some of the ASEAN countries, with different scopes and rules. However, very few had such arrangements with all the countries of ASEAN. The new agreement now includes all member states of each region and replaces all existing contracts with a unified framework, connecting more than one billion people. The agreement aims to revitalize air travel and transport between Southeast Asia and Europe, which has […]

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05 Oct 2022

Universal Chargers are Here to Stay!

Newsflash! The time has come for universal chargers to hit it on!   Following the provisional political agreement reached in June 2022 between the EU institutions, on October 4, 2022, the European Parliament passed a new law on universal chargers to ease reducing e-waste and enable more sustainable choices for consumers.   What does this actually refer to? Namely, all small and medium-sized mobile electronic devices will need to be equipped with a USB Type C port.  Thus, consumers will no longer have to use different chargers to charge their devices from different manufacturers.  The agreement will be applied to […]

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08 Aug 2022

Google Play Store Under the Radar of the EU’s Competition Watchdog

The European Commission’s (Commission) antitrust enforcers are investigating Google Play Store.  The antitrust enforcers are now looking into the restrictions Google has placed on the Play Store app market. According to the sources, the Commission has sent a confidential questionnaire to several companies that use the Play Store.   Most of the questions are about the billing terms and fees they must pay to this tech giant to be listed in its application catalog. Any purchase made inside an application (in-app) that has been downloaded from the Play Store is subject to a 15% to 30% fee that Google charges.  Publishers […]

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23 Jun 2022

CBAM Adopted by EU Parliament

Building on our CBAM series, we can now report that the CBAM was adopted by the EU Parliament (“Parliament”) on June 22, 2022.  The next step is the EU Council approval (“Council”).  Even though there are still some differences in regard to the approach between the Parliament and the Council, it is assumed that their common vision on the overall goals will be decisive in finding a compromise on regulation introducing CBAM. Back in 2005, the EU established the EU Emissions Trading System (“ETS”) which has since become a cornerstone of the EU’s climate change policy and its most important tool […]

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21 Jun 2022

Corporate Reporting – the Decision Day

Today in Brussels, the EU parliament, EU governments and the European Commission will try to agree on uniform rules for corporate reporting on environmental, governance and social standards (ESG).  This will be the last time that the lawmakers meet to confirm the new reporting rules. Pascal Durand, the lead negotiator for the European parliament, stated ahead of the meeting: “If we strike a deal tonight, the EU will set the tone of the global conversation on sustainable standards for the company of the 21st century.”  This highlights the importance of the new uniform reporting rules for the companies, and as […]

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17 Jun 2022

The Legal 500 Series: Bogdan Gecić enters Hall of Fame

In this edition of our series dedicated to our esteemed colleagues who were recognized in this year’s The Legal 500 EMEA rankings, we bring you our founder and managing partner Bogdan Gecić.  After being recognized by The Legal 500 as a Leading Individual in Competition for seven consecutive years, in this year’s rankings, Bogdan was especially honored by being amongst the distinguished few to be inducted into the elite global directory’s newly established EMEA Hall of Fame category, which highlights the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession having received constant praise by their clients for continued […]

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16 Jun 2022

Gecić Law team talks ESG at TerraLex Global Meeting

The first post-covid Global Meeting of the elite global legal alliance TerraLex was last week’s highlight as lawyers from 180 member law firms from across the globe gathered in Oslo.  Delegates had the opportunity to learn, collaborate and network with their colleagues in a unique series of activities and a relaxed collegial atmosphere.  The Gecić Law team took to the center stage, as for the first time the alliance built its annual meeting around a single theme, choosing one of the hottest topics in the legal world today – ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance.  The gathering took a multifaceted approach […]

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10 Jun 2022

CBAM Will Have to Wait

Building on our series of CBAM articles, we report shocking news from the EU Parliament.  Members of the EU Parliament (“MEPs”) unexpectedly rejected a series of legislative proposals from the “Fit for 55” legislative package, including the EU Parliament’s negotiating position on the introduction of a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”). Back in 2005, the EU established the EU Emissions Trading System (“ETS”) which has since become a cornerstone of the EU’s climate change policy and its most important tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Since its inception, the ETS is constantly being reformed which was one of the goals […]

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03 Jun 2022

CBAM Proposal: The Wind of Change

In anticipation of the June 7 plenary session when the European Parliament will take on the CBAM proposal, we delve into the key ideas behind and the expected game-changing impact of the regulation on international trade.  In this edition of our CBAM series, find out more about how this wind of change may affect consumers, businesses and economies across the globe. Why is the EU introducing a new carbon pricing policy? As a new policy, the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”) is being developed to work in conjunction with the EU Emission Trading System (“ETS”) – a cornerstone of the EU’s […]

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27 May 2022

Warming Up CBAM Regulation to Cool the Earth

What has been in the making for years now is set to become a reality very soon.  The EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”) is expected to be adopted at the plenary session of the European Parliament, which will be held on June 7, 2022.  The EU is finalizing its plans to introduce a charge at its border for carbon emissions associated with products sold in the EU.  This is likely to mark a tectonic shift in international trade with far-reaching implications for businesses and economies around the world that rely on exporting their goods to the European Union.  In […]

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19 May 2022

EU’s New Vertical Block Exemption Regulation Revealed

On May 10, 2022, the European Commission adopted a new Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (“VBER“) and related guidelines (“Vertical Guidelines“), following a detailed review of the previous Vertical Block Exemption Regulation dating to 2010 (“old VBER“). The objective of the VBER is to exempt agreements between undertakings operating at different levels of the supply chain (“vertical agreements”): if certain market share thresholds are met, and provided the agreement does not contain certain prohibited restrictions (“hardcore restrictions”). In other words, the VBER aims to recognize which types of vertical agreements are generally efficiency-enhancing and provide benefits to consumers. One of the […]

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13 May 2022

EU lawmakers back switch to zero emission vehicles by 2035

The Committee on the Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety (“ENVI”) decided on Wednesday to accelerate the shift to electric vehicles in Europe to reach increased climate ambitions. In July 2021, as part of the ‘’Fit for 55’’ package, the European Commission (‘’Commission’’) decided to propose an amendment to the Regulation 2019/631 to strengthen the CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and new light commercial vehicles in line with the Union’s increased climate ambition.  Currently, carmakers need to ensure that their average fleet of new cars emits no more than 95 grams of C02 a kilometer. Lawmakers have […]

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22 Apr 2022

Earth Day Special Report: Fit for 55

Today is Earth Day, a global celebration held on April 22 every year to show support for environmental protection. It began on April 22, 1970, and has since grown to include a diverse range of events coordinated globally, involving over a billion people in over 193 nations.  On Earth Day 2016, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, and 120 other countries signed the historic Paris Agreement.  To mark this important day, Gecić Law is bringing you a special Insights Report dedicated to the European Union’s legislative journey toward a carbon-neutral continent.  In July 2021, the European Commission (“EC“) adopted […]

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12 Apr 2022

EU Directive on Shell Companies

What are shell companies? These are legitimate legal entities that do not own assets or conduct business operations.  Although they are not illegal, they may be used illicitly.  Shares of shell companies are not traded on stock exchanges.  Most exist on paper only and are little more than a mailing address. That is why the European Commission (“EC”) has issued a draft directive on shell companies. Legal vs Illegal Use of Shell Companies   Examples of the legal use of a shell corporation could be to serve as vehicles in cross-border transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions. However, shell companies are […]

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25 Mar 2022

Court of Justice of EU Specifies Protection Against Double Jeopardy

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) delivered two judgments on 22 March 2022.  By those judgments, the CJEU ruled on the scope of the protection afforded by the prohibition of ne bis in idem principle in competition law.  The CJEU recalled in both cases that the application of the ne bis in idem principle is subject to a twofold condition.  First, there must be a prior final decision and secondly, the prior decision and the subsequent proceedings must concern the same facts.  The CJEU clarified that the limitations may be imposed on the exercise of a fundamental right, such as the prohibition against double […]

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04 Mar 2022

The battle for supremacy: EU and Romania

In late 2021, the Romanian Constitutional Court issued a statement regarding the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (”Judgment”) in Cases C-357/19 Euro Box Promotion and Others, C379/19 DNA – Oradea Territorial Service, C-547/19 “Romanian Judges Forum”, C-811/19 FQ and others and C-840/19 NC. The Judgment established that national judges are entitled to disregard the decisions of the Romanian Constitutional Court that are not aligned with the EU law without any risk of disciplinary measures.   Moreover, it addressed the Romanian justice reforms and pointed out the mandatory character of the EU’s recommendations, embedded in the Cooperation and […]

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31 Jan 2022

Ombudsman: EU Commission President’s Text Messages are Public Access Documents

The European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly stated on Friday that text messages between EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the CEO of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer are documents the public should have access to. O’Reilly’s opinion indicates that the Commission mishandled a request for public access to these messages, which concern the EU’s purchase of COVID 19 vaccines from the manufacturer. The European Commission had earlier denied a request made on 4 May 2021 via Access Info’s AsktheEU.org platform by Alexander Fanta, a journalist with netzpolitik.org. Access Info’s platform enables citizens of the EU direct access to public information. The […]

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19 Jan 2022

EU’s Global Gateway and China’s Belt and Road Initiative

The Global Gateway initiative was unveiled on December 1, 2021, as a strategy of the European Union (“EU”) to support sustainable infrastructure development around the world.  The EU is planning to invest EUR 300 billion over five years.  The European Commission pitched the Global Gateway as a template for how Europe aims to build more resilient connections across the globe. The Global Gateway is about increasing investment, promoting values and high standards, good governance and transparency, partnerships based on equality, green, clean, secure infrastructure, but also catalyzing and supporting private sector investment in new markets as part of the Global […]

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14 Jan 2022

Making the Most of FDIs in Serbia

For several years in a row, Serbia is ranked among the leading destinations for foreign investors.  According to the Greenfield FDI Performance Index, in 2019 Serbia was ranked first among 105 states observed by the index.  A similar status was maintained throughout the subsequent years as Serbia ranked fifth in 2020, and sixth in 2021.  According to the World Bank Doing Business rankings, Serbia is ranked among business-friendly jurisdictions, whose ease of doing business index grows regularly. The willingness to invest raises concerns regarding the legal and institutional framework of the host economy.  Bilateral investment treaties (“BIT”) have been presented […]

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13 Jan 2022

New Capital Market Act in Serbia

The end of 2021 was marked by changes in the legislation of the Republic of Serbia, which included the adoption of a new Capital Market Act (“Act”) that entered into force on January 5 this year. The objective of the Act is to introduce greater transparency and responsibility in business, the introduction and development of financial instruments offered on the Serbian capital market, creating a more attractive environment for both domestic and foreign investors. It was adopted following the government’s Capital Market Development Strategy 2021-2026, and the Action Plan for its implementation. The law will start to apply after one […]

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13 Dec 2021

European Commission Approves ’Green’ State Aid to Croatia

On December 9, 2021, the European Commission (’’Commission’’) approved Croatian State aid in the amount of EUR 783 million to support the production of electricity from renewable energy sources as part of the European Union’s endeavors to meet the climate and energy objectives set by the Communication ‘A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030’. The Croatian scheme will be open until 2023 and will be paid out to the selected beneficiaries for a period of 12 years.  The Commission assessed this scheme under the 2014 Guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and […]

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03 Dec 2021

Bogdan Gecić talks competition at Winter Vivaldi Forum

Bogdan Gecić, the founding partner at Gecić Law, spoke today at the winter edition of the prestigious Vivaldi Forum which traditionally takes place in Drvengrad, on the picturesque Mokra Gora mountain. His thought-provoking presentation titled “Sufficient Light: The Market and Competition”, delivered as part of the “Vivaldi Talks: Fertile Grounds for Growth” segment of the conference showed a fresh and unconventional perspective on the importance of fair competition for growth and development on the market, capturing the interest and sparking discussion among the delegates attending the event and numerous other participants who followed the session online. “Competition is a natural […]

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30 Nov 2021

What does the E in ESG stand for?

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” —Wendell Berry   Environmental Social and Governance (“ESG”) are the three main elements that companies increasingly consider when deciding whether to cooperate with or invest in a company.  It is also a term used in capital markets when assessing corporate behavior and a method of linking the performance in these three areas with the – future financial performance of corporations.  The term is sometimes referred to as sustainable investing, responsible investing, impact investing, or socially responsible investing. Nevertheless, once enough data has been obtained, they are integrated into the investment process […]

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26 Nov 2021

EU slaps Poland with biggest supremacy fine

The battle for supremacy i.e. primacy between Member State and European Union (“EU”) law is in full swing, with the prospect of even more trouble.  In late October, the EU’s highest court (“CJEU”) issued a landmark daily fine to Poland in the amount of EUR 1 million for failing to comply with CJEU’s order.  This tremendous fine is the biggest to date and may very well be a warning to any other Member State that might try to question the primacy of EU law. Getting to the Biggest Supremacy Fine Polish judicial system reforms are what triggered the dispute between […]

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22 Nov 2021

Gecić Law experts discuss sustainability at CSR Forum 2021

Gecić Law’s sustainability experts took part in two sessions at this fall’s CSR Forum organized by the Responsible Business Forum and Smart Kolektiv. Gecić Law and the Responsible Business Forum hosted a panel on responsible business practices on November 22.  The event was held as part of the CSR Forum and was titled “Strategies for Sustainability – from CSR to ESG policies.” Our Partner and Head of Corporate / M&A Ognjen Colić moderated the panel. Meanwhile, speakers at the event were Erste Bank Senior Expert for Corporate Social Responsibility Sonja Konakov Sirčev, Nelt Operations Manager Milenko Ribić, Lidl Serbia CSR […]

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27 Oct 2021

Taboroši Scholarship 2022 – Applications now open!

Gecić Law is pleased to announce that we have opened the application process for the Taboroši Scholarship for the fifth consecutive year. About the Scholarship The Taboroši Scholarship was established in memory of Professor Svetislav Taboroši, by family members and former students who have been inspired by the professor’s work and dedication to academic research and innovative problem-solving in the practice of business law.  A brilliant teacher and scholar, Professor Taboroši strived to educate his students on the most recent trends in legal academic thinking and the importance of critical thinking in academic and professional analysis of international law & […]

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13 Oct 2021

What is ESG and why is it important?

Multinational entities and governments are pushing for more action regarding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. As a result, enterprises increasingly integrate the ever-changing social and environmental factors into their business strategies. The concept of business success has changed and so must the actions they take. But what exactly is ESG? ESG is a set of standards to guide corporate policies to ensure sustainable development in the fields of environment, social and corporate governance. How Did We Get to ESG? Only twenty years ago, if one would ask a group of individuals with a business background about the main objective […]

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04 Oct 2021

EU Proposes the Prolongation of the State Aid Temporary Framework

The European Commission has proposed the prolongation of the State aid Temporary Framework until 30 June 2022, in order to expedite the ongoing Covid-19 economic recovery in Europe. The Temporary Framework was initially adopted on 19 March 2020 and to this date, it was amended and prolonged five times (more information available here and here). Margaret Vestager, the Executive Vice-President, who is in charge of the competition policy said that we are finally seeing improvements in the EU economy after the big crisis that hit the EU due to Covid-19.  She also added: ’’[W]e need to be aware of disparities […]

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30 Sep 2021

Facebook’s Ray-Ban Stories cause privacy concerns in Europe

Facebook teamed up with Ray-Ban to create Ray-Ban Stories, new smart glasses.  The product, which will initially be only available in stores in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Italy, the UK and the US, is already facing severe scrutiny over privacy concerns.  So, how are different privacy watchdogs taking the development of these spectacles? Did Facebook take any steps to respond to privacy concerns? And finally, could the smart glasses come under the radar of privacy watchdogs in the Western Balkans?   What are Facebook’s Ray-Ban smart glasses? Smart glasses are not a new technological development.  The concept has been around for […]

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16 Sep 2021

EU announces Global Gateway ahead of VDL’s Western Balkans trip

The European Union (“EU”) will launch a project called Global Gateway, European Commission (“EC”) President Ursula von der Leyen said during her latest State of the Union address.  The project will aim to bring the EU closer to its partners worldwide.  Besides revealing plans for the Global Gateway, the commissioner also announced her Western Balkans trip. The fact that the two topics were brought to light in the annual EU policy speech may mean that the Global Gateway could bring more investments from the EU to the region.  Commenting on the project, Von der Leyen added that the bloc wants […]

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06 Sep 2021

Irish watchdog issues record fine in WhatsApp data protection ruling

The Irish Data Protection Commission (“DPC”) fined Facebook’s WhatsApp with EUR 225 million in its latest EU data protection ruling.  The fine is the second largest of its kind in the EU. So far, only Amazon paid more in a privacy case in the EU. The DPC said in its ruling on September 2 that WhatsApp’s policies were not in line with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), noting it registered breaches of Article 5(1)(a) as well as Articles 12 through 14.  The breaches particularly include the provision of information and the transparency of that information to both users […]

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23 Aug 2021

Schrems, Facebook and Data Privacy

Why Schrems?  The EU’s trust in the processing of personal data seems to be shaken. With the famous case Maximillian Schrems v Facebook Ireland Limited pending before the Austrian Supreme Court (“Court“) for a while now, Maximillian Schrems requested the Court to refer four questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) concerning the lawful use of personal data of all Facebook users from the EU.   So, who is Maximilian Schrems? Maximillian Schrems is a law student from Austria and a personal data protection activist who has been extremely vocal about data protection before EU authorities. […]

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13 Aug 2021

ESL: Football Saga Shifts to the Court(s)

In April, the Commercial Court of Madrid (“Court”) granted provisional measures forbidding FIFA and UEFA to adopt, any type of actions against the so-called European Super League (“ESL”) or against the teams and players participating in the newly proposed European football competition during the course of the main proceedings (Gecic Law has already given legal insight on this topic).  Before the measures, the ESL sent a letter to FIFA and UEFA officials calling for cooperation, but also warning that they had taken legal actions to prevent and nullify any efforts to block their project.   The Madrid Decision The Court […]

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11 Aug 2021

The Clash Between Brussels and Germany: The Battle for Legal Supremacy or Just a Procedural Quarrel?

The German Constitutional Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) have been at odds lately.  In June 2021, the European Commission brought infringement proceedings against Germany over an alleged breach of the principle of primacy of EU law by the German Federal Constitutional Court. Namely, the German Federal Constitutional Court has delivered a landmark decision that is precedent-setting and has tremendous repercussions for the question of the power dynamics between the European Union (“EU”) and a Member State.  Before getting into the nitty-gritty details of this legal conundrum, let us take a look at how things played […]

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09 Aug 2021

Hydrogen Economy – a New Hope for a Polluted World?

It is almost impossible to remain unfazed by the increasing detriments of global warming.  To make matters worse – the worst is yet to come, and we can only mitigate the unavoidable consequences.  To this end, the European Union (“EU”) has sought to develop a strategy for combating climate change and global warming.  The children of this effort are several significant legal acts. As part of the “Fit for 55” initiative, the EU wants to reduce net greenhouse emissions by 55% by 2030.  So, here’s where we get to the hydrogen economy. The global economy is currently based on hydrocarbons […]

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26 Jul 2021

State Aid and Climate Change: The Challenges

Here we go again, fighting climate change.  This time, we are focusing on State aid and climate change, and discussing an important question – how green is State aid? Back in 2019, Europe ushered the European Green Deal.  The European Commission published a Communication on the European Green Deal in its tenacious efforts to tackle climate change and other environmental challenges.  This Communication is the EU’s attempt to work on the transition to a future where there will be no “bad emissions”, to put it plainly.  If we were to get more technical, to create a Europe with net-zero emissions […]

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22 Jul 2021

Internet of Things: A New Brainiac in the Hood

A phenomenon known as the Internet of Things (“IoT”), which has been at the forefront of the global tech changes, recently caught the European Commission’s (“Commission”) attention.  The Commission’s Preliminary Report and Q&A on this tech & business sector is a big step towards acknowledging IoT as a market of the future, while simultaneously pointing out some potential dangers of this groundbreaking technology. Internet of Things – a Brief Explanation Let’s imagine this situation: you are not only an ardent coffee drinker but also a sleepyhead.  Your alarm wakes you up at 7.00 am.  You have little precious time to […]

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14 Jul 2021

European Commission officially reveals Fit for 55 package

The European Commission (“EC”) adopted the Fit for 55 climate action plan on Wednesday, announcing a legislative package that aims to cut carbon emissions in the European Union (“EU”) by 55% by 2030, compared to levels measured in 1990.  It also calls for action to make the continent carbon neutral by 2050. The Fit for 55 package includes provisions on expanding the EU Emissions Trading System to charge for carbon emissions in more sectors.  Additionally, it proposes Effort Sharing Regulation and prescribes new emissions-cutting targets per Member State.  It also calls for an increase in renewable energy sources use, creates […]

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12 Jul 2021

New Bill on the Regulation of the Agricultural Products Market

In the Republic of Serbia, agricultural policy is based on the Act on Agriculture and Rural Development and the Act on Incentives in Agriculture and Rural Development.  However, none of these two acts enable the regulation of the agricultural products market and the introduction of new market regulation mechanisms, which are necessary to help Serbian agriculture maintain steady development.  Market mechanisms in the Republic of Serbia are not in accordance with the common EU market organization.  Serbia lacks a similar unique legal framework to implement most measures of market regulation. In order to harmonize further with mechanisms in the EU, […]

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05 Jul 2021

Fit for 55 – The Future of Europe

At the event hosted by the API/IPA international press association, Slovenia revealed the priorities of its upcoming presidency of the Council of the EU and the Fit for 55 legislative package stole the spotlight all for itself.  Before leaning into the story of Fit for 55, let us make a quick turn to the conference held just a few days ago. Slovenia is taking over the Council of the EU presidency for the next six months.  The country’s Permanent Representative to the EU Mr. Iztok Jarc and his deputy Ms. Tamara Weingerl-Požar laid out the priorities of the presidency.  Of […]

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25 Jun 2021

Data protection and Big Tech: Is it just a bump in the road?

The topic of data protection and Big Tech keeps on giving.  It appears the subject of data protection simply does not want to leave the main stage and wishes to remain in everyone’s center of attention.  This should not come as a surprise, since the world is only starting to become more integrated in terms of digital services provided by Big Tech companies. The most recent “controversy” on data protection and Big Tech comes from Germany, or to be more precise, Hamburg’s Commissioner for Data Protection (“Commissioner”).  The Commissioner investigated Facebook’s use of personal data gathered from WhatsApp users and […]

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21 Jun 2021

Serbia: One small step for a legislator means one big step for the EU acquis alignment

In the process of gradually aligning its legislation with the EU acquis the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted two bylaws on 11 March 2021 in the field of state aid, complementary to the recently adopted new State Aid Control Act. All this adds value to the start of talks on the Chapter 8 – Competition Policy of Serbia’s negotiation process and may speed up Serbia’s EU accession. Regional Aid Regulation This regulation is designed to promote economic development of the least developed regions or the development of regions with a high level of unemployment. It also allows state […]

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14 Jun 2021

Gatekeepers and Digital Markets – EU Digital Saga continues

Some reports say that it would be impossible to live in the digital world outside of the ecosystem created by Big Tech giants.  The concentration of power in a small number of platforms has allowed some tech companies, popularly known as the Four Horsemen” to exercise unparalleled economic power and social impact almost without any oversight by regulators.  These companies have complete market dominance, each in their respective field of expertise: Apple in consumer electronics and mobile operating systems;  Facebook in the social media, Google in online searches, video-sharing and mapping-based navigation; and, finally, Amazon in the e-commerce market.  Hence, […]

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10 Jun 2021

The Status of Influencers in North Macedonia

The imaginary familiarity with a famous person through platforms such as Instagram is more common when the other party is a so-called influencer – a person that enjoys appreciation of a large number of users due to their reputation.  The imaginary closeness is, on the other hand, a very powerful tool in hands of influencers as users often aspire to emulate their lifestyle.  However, the lifestyle the influencer presents is not always genuine as the content presented often includes (some form of) promotion.  When an influencer shows on their profile that they use a certain product, there is a great […]

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07 Jun 2021

Amazon Wins Major Tax Battle Against EU

The EU’s second-highest court sided with Amazon.com (“Amazon”) recently, saying it did not owe millions to Luxembourg in unpaid taxes.  On May 12, 2021, the General Court (“Court”) overturned the European Commission’s (“Commission”) order to Amazon to pay EUR 250 million to Luxembourg, as reimbursement of illegal State aid. The Court held that the European Commission’s primary finding of an alleged advantage was based on an incorrect analysis.  Precisely, the Court argued that none of the findings set out by the Commission in the contested decision were sufficient to demonstrate the existence of an advantage for the purposes of Article […]

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03 Jun 2021

A Snitch in the Cartel – the Leniency Program

Business cartels between competing market participants are designed to limit or eliminate competition between them, with the objective of increasing prices and profit of the cartel members.  In practice, this is generally achieved by fixing prices, market sharing, limiting output, allocating customers or territories, bid-rigging, or a combination of the above.  Cartels are harmful to consumers and society as a whole since the participating businesses charge higher prices (and earn higher profits) than would be the case in a competitive market. Because of their negative impact on the market, competition legislation fights against cartels, imposing substantial fines on participants, which […]

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31 May 2021

The status of influencers in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Legal Framework for the so-called influencing  To say that there is no special advertising act in Bosnia and Herzegovina (“BiH”) is not completely true.  Namely, certain forms of (illegal) advertising are regulated by the Prohibited Advertising Act.  This Act regulates the protection of merchants from illicit advertising, the protection of procedures and determines forms of illicit advertising.  On the other hand, advertising as such is regulated indirectly at the level of the Federation. In this regard, the Consumer Protection Act is applicable, considering that BiH is one of few European countries that has neither a media act nor an electronic […]

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28 May 2021

EU and Japan create Green Alliance to fight climate change

The European Union (“EU”) and Japan created a Green Alliance and issued a document on May 27 that defines their joint goals on climate change.  They committed to green growth and reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, reaffirming their commitment to the Paris Agreement. The creation of the alliance comes ahead of the UN climate conference in Glasgow in November. The event should define the implementation of the Paris Agreement. In the meantime, the EU and Japan have promised to promote green economy goals. They noted that they will help developing nations transition to low-carbon energy use. The two sides also […]

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27 May 2021

Global Corporate Tax (R)evolution

Joe Biden’s first big clash with the largest businesses in the US came as a result of his proposal to increase corporate tax and raised quite a few eyebrows.  Although Corporate America initially welcomed the massive government spending plan, it later expressed genuine concerns on the topic.  International corporate taxation has long presented a challenge for tax authorities worldwide, causing them losses in billions of tax dollars.  The US has been one of the largest backers of negotiations on a large-scale reform of international corporate taxation that have been going on for quite some time. However, an agreement is yet […]

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24 May 2021

Influencers in the Western Balkans – Croatia

Influencer marketing is a fast-growing discipline, and the number of influencers is growing every day in our region.  Like Serbia, Croatia is also “fertile ground” for influencer marketing and numerous extremely “influential influencers”.  Testimonies of many, both “micro” and “macro” influencers from Croatia, demonstrate that this indeed amounts to a full-time job. So, how does one hire an influencer?  In a nutshell, after “becoming famous”, influencers receive offers to promote various products and services on a daily basis, but how is this activity legally regulated in Croatia? Stay tuned, as we discuss below in greater detail the legal position of […]

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20 May 2021

Biggest gun-jumping fine or just a slap on the wrist?

The Serbian Competition Authority (“SCA”) recently focused on unapproved mergers i.e. gun-jumping.  The most recent “victim” of the SCA’s investigations into gun-jumping was Fortenova Grupa d.d. (“Fortenova”), with the only previous undertaking fined for gun-jumping being Prointer IT Solutions.  Meanwhile, Ernst & Young are also being investigated under the same allegations.  Is this simply a witch hunt or is there something going on here? Gun-jumping (not only during the Olympics) Before we get into the heart of the matter let`s define what gun-jumping is.  In competition law, gun-jumping is a concept pertaining to an unlawful pre-merger and pre-clearance coordination of […]

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11 May 2021

EU to apply new enlargement methodology to Serbia and Montenegro

The Council of the EU agreed on Tuesday to apply its revised enlargement methodology in the accession negotiations of Serbia and Montenegro.  The new rules within the accession process aim to increase contacts at the ministerial level and promote fundamental reforms in the two countries.  Additionally, the new enlargement methodology has the goal of improving the predictability of the accession process. Furthermore, it reorganizes chapters into clusters to speed up negotiations between the states with the EU. The decision comes after the European Commission issued a Communication in February which addressed the need to improve the accession process. The new […]

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10 May 2021

Many have asked us … what is the status of influencers in the Western Balkans?

Who are “influencers”? Developments in technology and the significant influence of social networks on modern life, have resulted in the development of a completely new breed of digital marketers – influencers[1].  Increasingly, successful brands now recognize influencer marketing as an extremely effective way to advertise their business which in turn expands their reach and increasing the sales of products and services. The term influencers originated in the English language, and many other languages, including Serbian, use anglicisms to refer to influencers to denote influential people within a certain group of people.  We are familiar with their work today on various […]

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27 Apr 2021

Developments in Energy Legislation in Serbia – a Path Towards a Green Future

The adoption of amendments, and the new group of energy-related acts are crucial for Serbia’s energy transition, which is set to be implemented through several new regulations.  All countries in the Western Balkans must transition to carbon-neutral energy sectors and become part of the integrated energy market.  The main goal of the transition is to increase the share of renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Members of the Serbian Parliament adopted the Amendments to the Energy Act, the Act on Energy Efficiency and Rational Use of Energy (the “Energy Efficiency Act”) and the Amendments to […]

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26 Apr 2021

Cartel Ties Prompting Disqualification

“Three Strikes, You’re Out!”, or, as in the practice of the UK’s watchdog, “third time is a charm”, but the fourth is not.  Let us check out the rules of fair play when it comes to protecting competition in the UK market. In the early 2020 Associated Lead Mills Ltd (ALM) and H.J. Enthoven Ltd (trading as BLM British Lead), two of the UK’s largest suppliers of rolled lead,  admitted to forming a cartel and thus breaking the law four times by colluding on prices, sharing the rolled lead market by arranging not to target certain customers, and purposely not […]

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24 Apr 2021

ESL: A Legal Perspective and Insights on the Football League that May Never Start

Introductory remarks There are many reasons why football is one of the world’s most successful and popular sports, and that Europe is its home.  As Rohan Roy said in his poem, football is “the most beautiful game”.  Although football has changed over the years, which was inevitable, it kept receiving support from its fans. Historically, adjustments to “the most important of the least important things” have been announced and introduced gradually, so that the core principles of football would survive. It is obvious that the fans and supporters were and always will be the reason for football’s worldwide success.  This […]

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02 Apr 2021

EU Digital Saga Continues – Digital Services Act: A Service to Consumers, but a Disservice to Businesses?

After a short break from our previous reflections on the EU’s new set of regulations concerning digital markets (more details available here), we are back with an even more vivid and thorough breakdown of the proposed regulation. To pick up where we left off, we will be taking a closer look at the Digital Services Act (“DSA“ or „Act“). As we have already familiarized ourselves with the EU’s goals and ambitions regarding new digital market regulation, we can now fully indulge ourselves by taking a closer look at the Act.  We hope that you managed to catch your breath because […]

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10 Mar 2021

Gecić Law’s Milestone Win in Landmark State-Aid Case Attracts Media Attention

Gecić Law is currently representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in a procedure with the Energy Community, a landmark case across the Balkans related to alleged state aid in the construction of Block 7 of the Tuzla Thermal Power Plant, a project worth USD 1.1 billion, with co-counsel Marić & Co. Law Firm based in Sarajevo. Launched in 2018 by the Secretariat of the Energy Community against Bosnia and Herzegovina, the process has been marked by violation of due process, complete disregard for the rights of the defense as well as continuous bids of the prosecution to speed up the process and […]

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09 Mar 2021

Bogdan Gecić, the founder of Gecić Law Firm: There is a lot of room for innovation

Diplomacy & Commerce magazine, a syndication of London’s The Economist magazine for Serbia, prepared a special InFocus supplement as part of its February 2021 issue, with the aim of providing the readers a closer insight into the development of bilateral relations and successful cooperation between Serbia and the United Arab Emirates. Bogdan Gecic, Managing Partner at Gecic Law, a founding and exclusive member of the UAE Serbia Business club since 2019, gave an interview, which can be read in its entirety below. As an industry, the legal profession has been changing significantly. We have always believed there is a lot […]

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05 Mar 2021

Our Energy practice is growing every day

Our Energy practice team has repeatedly demonstrated its credibility by devising unique opportunities for greenfield and brownfield investments for our clients. We provide comprehensive solutions related to privatization, regulatory compliance and due diligence in cooperation with eminent regulatory, corporate and financial experts. Counsel to Norwegian NBT AS on Wind Farms Project in Serbia Our latest accomplishment in the energy sector is providing counsel to NBT AS, Norway, a utility-scale wind power developer (exceeding 100 KW of power), in partnering with WV International (formerly Windvision).  WV International has been developing wind farm projects in Serbia since 2010 and has been active […]

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01 Mar 2021

The Treaty of Nice Turns 20

The Treaty of Nice, a landmark agreement in the history of the European integration process, celebrated its 20th anniversary last Friday. The legislation was signed on February 26, 2001 and came into force on February 1, 2003. The key aim of the Treaty was to introduce institutional changes and decision-making reform, amending the Maastricht Treaty and the Treaty of Rome, which would allow for the ensuing EU enlargement.  The Treaty introduced qualified majority voting in the European Council, removed national vetoes in many areas and gave the European Parliament the power to elect the Commission President. It formalized the principles […]

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24 Feb 2021

Information Society Service through the Eyes of the CJEU

On December 3, 2020, the Fourth Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered a judgement in the case Star Taxi App SRL v Unitatea Administrativ Teritorială Municipiul Bucureşti prin Primar General and Consiliul General al Municipiului Bucureşti providing some extremely interesting conclusions, to say the least.  But let us leave the conclusions for later, and first touch upon the factual bits and pieces of the case. The Romanian company SC Star Taxi App SRL is a manager of an application which places users of taxi services directly in touch with taxi drivers all over Romania.  […]

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12 Feb 2021

EU Digital Saga – the Beginning of the End for Big Tech Supremacy?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Internet has been a key factor in driving globalization and economic growth in recent years.  Along the same lines, leading internet intermediaries have played an essential role in expediting this growth and providing companies of all sizes with the means to capitalize on all the benefits the digital era has to offer.  Thus, it is hardly surprising that many Internet intermediaries, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google, are among the world’s most successful companies.  However, there are genuine concerns that their economic prosperity and progress are indirectly being encouraged by legislation that shields […]

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09 Feb 2021

“Roam Like at Home” in the Western Balkans as of July 1, 2021

The Necessity of the Digital Single Market… Not only is the global economy flourishing, it is going digital also. Information and communications technology is no longer a specific business sector but the foundation of all modern innovative economic systems. The Internet and digital technologies are transforming the lives we live, the way we work –personally, in business, and in our societies as they increasingly weave their way into all sectors of our economy and community. Consequently, our lives and, especially, our businesses need to follow global trends such as competitive strategies, marketing techniques, and business models, and that would not […]

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02 Feb 2021

Removing Competition and/or train tracks?

As you already know, we make it our business to bring you news of cases that are out of the ordinary and interesting in so many ways.  But this one is a first.  It is not new as in recent, because it all began 10 years ago, but new in the context of originality.  What you are about to read is the story of probably the most flagrant “abuse of dominant position” ever. Factual originality Providing the backdrop to this story is a business relationship in the Baltics between Lithuanian Railways (“LR”), the state-owned rail company in Lithuania, with responsibility […]

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22 Jan 2021

The WhatsApp Case: The Love & Hate Relationship between Big Tech and Data Protection

Is there another earthshattering change in the tech sector that will be making headlines for the next few weeks?  Tech behemoths have certainly kept journalists and bloggers on their toes lately due to many recent dramatic changes and major decisions. WhatsApp, a company owned by Facebook, wanted to go the whole nine yards to become the most successful messaging and calls application, so its executives have quite recently reached a decision to update its privacy policy.  As it rolled out the latest updates for Android and iOS, the internet exploded with claims that this encrypted messaging app, whose major selling point […]

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04 Jan 2021

Amazon – One of “The Biggest Deals” for EU’s Antitrust Practice

Unbelievable numbers: 840,000 employees, USD 280 billion in revenue for 2019, USD 11.5 billion profit (for the same year) and first centi-billionaire owner ever.  Today, one of the biggest undertakings in global trade.  But, on the other side, one of “The Biggest Deals” for the EU, ever.  We bring you a story of to-ings and fro-ings between Amazon and the EU Commission. Short Recap Rewind to July 17, 2019.  On that day, the Commission opened an investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct by Amazon.  More precisely, an investigation was opened to assess whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers […]

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29 Dec 2020

Trading Water – a 21st century inevitability or a cause for concern?

If you think you have seen “everything” in 2020, well, think again!  This is the year that sees water traded on the stock exchange for the first time ever.  News from Wall Street that water is to be traded on the stock exchange spread quickly and overshadowed a raft of other, important financial stories. This December the world’s largest financial derivatives exchange, the CME Group, launched futures contracts tied to the spot price of water in California, a market of $ 1.1 billion.  The very concept of trading water inevitably gives us all pause for thought about the reasons for […]

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23 Nov 2020

Are Major High-Tech Companies “Skirting the Law” in Serbia Regarding Personal Data Protection?

Although it has been more than a year since the new Personal Data Protection Act (“Act”) entered into force in Serbia, some of its provisions are not yet fully applicable.  One clear-cut example is Article 44 of the Act, which requires foreign companies (therefore those who does not have a registered business seat in Serbia) to appoint a Personal Data Protection Representative for Serbia (“Representative”). Who is the Representative? This provision, (as well as the majority of the Act’s provisions), was adopted from Article 27 of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and refers to any personal data controller and […]

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12 Oct 2020

The New Public Procurement Act: How Does it Help in the Fight Against Bid-rigging

The New Public Procurement Act (“new Act”) was adopted in December 2019 and came into force on January 1, 2020.  The key objectives of the new act are increased transparency within the public procurement procedure, elimination of the administrative burden and increased competition between the participants in the procedure. If conducted legally, the public procurement process should result in the acquisition of the highest possible quality of goods or services for the lowest possible price.  However, collusion between bidders, i.e. “bid-rigging”, eliminates genuine competition and hinders the interests of both purchasers and taxpayers. Bids can be rigged through secret coordination […]

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06 Oct 2020

A new stage in the development of the judiciary in Serbia between 2020-2025

The development of the judiciary is one of the key priorities for the Republic of Serbia. It is a permanent process of modernization and harmonization of the judiciary with the needs of the state and society, in order to ensure rule of law and enhance legal certainty. In line with this, on July 10, the Government of the Republic of Serbia, adopted Judicial Development Strategy for the time period between 2020 and 2025  (“Strategy”), as well as the revised Action Plan for the Chapter 23 (“Action plan”).  We would also like to point out that AmCham Serbia, of which Gecić […]

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31 Jul 2020

It’s the Final Countdown in Slovenia – Agrokor and AVK

On July 29, 2020, the Slovenian Supreme Court (“Court“) reached a decision by which it ordered that the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (“AVK“) shall restore the Croatian Agrokor d.d.’s shares in the Slovenian retailer Mercator.  In its press release, the AVK stated that the decision by which it ordered the withdrawal of shares held by Agrokor was rendered in accordance with Article 201 of the Slovenian Misdemeanor Act (Zakon o prekrških) in 2019.  Article 201 enshrines that anyone’s property may be confiscated in cases there is likelihood of the perpetrator hiding or fleeing the country during the procedure before the […]

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20 Jul 2020

Commission Blocks – General Court Unblocks

For some reason May is THE month for competition.  Mays of yesteryear have witnessed many intriguing courtroom battles: May 2016, May 2019 and finally in May 2020. True to form, merger control is making the headlines again.  The General Court (GC) annulled the European Commission’s (Commission) decision in Hutchison 3G UK (Hutchison) and Telefónica UK (Telefónica) merger on May 28, 2020.  If you have not seen it yet, the underlying reason behind the annulment is quite thought-provoking: in a nutshell, the GC held that the Commission made errors in law and manifested errors of assessment, and to boot, infringed essential […]

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16 Jul 2020

Commission Suffers Major Blow in Apple State Aid Case?

General Court brings the curtain down on epic court battle between Apple Ireland and the EU/European Commission in a state aid case labelled the ‘Apple Tax case’. On July 15, 2020, the EU’s General Court overturned the Commission’s decision because the Commission failed to prove Apple had broken competition rules.  Following an in-depth state aid investigation launched in June 2014, the Commission requested information on any rulings granted by Ireland in favour of the Apple Group companies: Apple Operations International (AOI), Apple Sales International (ASI) and Apple Operations Europe (AOE).  The Commission concluded that two tax rulings issued by Ireland to […]

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19 Jun 2020

Serbia on the path of adopting the Circular Economy model

Serbia – a leader in the Western Balkans Nowadays, we face numerous global challenges such as the extinction of flora and fauna, endangering of ecosystems, the continuous growth of waste, pollution and scarcity of natural resources as effects of climate changes and pollution. Radical changes are more urgent than ever and Serbia is now embarking on the course to implement them. The Ministry of Environmental Protection with the support of the UNDP project “Circular Economy Platform for Sustainable Development in Serbia”, developed a document entitled Roadmap for circular economy(“Roadmap”).  The Roadmap is modeled on the type of existing documents in […]

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10 Jun 2020

Serbia signs and ratifies the so-called Convention 108+

Whenever you leave your home, buy something, apply for a job or pay bills these days – pretty much almost whatever you do –  your personal information is used, collected or processed.  In order to protect your right to private life regarding the automatic processing of your personal data, the Council of Europe adopted the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data – ETS No. 108 (“Convention 108”). (No) Need to Modernize the Convention Convention 108 is the first binding international instrument protecting individuals against abuses that may accompany the collection and processing […]

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02 Jun 2020

Self-driving cars on the road – who’s liable for damages?

Self-driving cars are almost a century-old dream. Ever since the concept of autonomous vehicles was presented at the 1939 New York World Fair sponsored by General Motors, the industry’s greats have raced to be the first to manufacture a self-driving car. Now, thanks to the development of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”), this dream is ever closer to reality. Self-driving cars – (not) all quiet on the Western front? The US state of Nevada is (in)famous for its casinos, luxury resorts and the showbiz industry. However, Nevada is also known for being among the first to allow (limited) participation of self-driving cars […]

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28 May 2020

The Micula saga – what were the lessons learned?

One learns early on – if you want to sit at the cool kids’ table, you must do the work and engage in tedious diplomatic battles and quid pro quo bargains. Yet, does the accession to the EU automatically erase ghosts of times past? If one looks at the love-hate triangle between the EU, Romania and the Micula brothers, the answer is not necessarily positive. The Micula phenomenon No international lawyer is likely to ever ask: “Micula – who?” On the contrary, the Micula case(s) have by now generated such notoriety that they represent household terms in law offices around […]

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08 May 2020

The latest judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany – a serious blow to the decision-making of the courts in the European Union?

On May 5, 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany  (“Constitutional Court”) delivered a judgment approving several constitutional complaints.  The complaints pertain to the Public Sector Purchase Program (“PSPP”) and allege that it violates the prohibition of monetary financing under Article 123 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) and the principle of conferral provided for in Art. 5(1) of the Treaty on European Union (“TEU”). It is important to note that the European Court of Justice ruled on the matter on December 11, 2018, stating that the PSPP did not violate the funding ban. Two […]

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29 Apr 2020

KOSTT-EMS Energy Dispute: One of the longest and most complex disputes in the Energy Community nears an end

On April 20, 2020, Serbian and Kosovar* transmission system operators (“TSOs”) finally took a step forward to end a years-long dispute.  The breakthrough came on the back of protracted negotiations between the Kosovar* TSO KOSTT and the Serbian TSO EMS, facilitated by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (“ENTSO-E”).  The vote on the draft Connection Agreement was successfully concluded by the Regional Group of Continental Europe.   Thanks to this vote and the subsequent deal, KOSTT and Kosovo* will leave the Serbia-Montenegro-North Macedonia control block and form the Kosovo*- Albania control block, as announced a number of […]

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28 Apr 2020

New Trademarks Act – a step closer in aligning Serbian legislation with EU law

On February 1, 2020, a new Trademarks Act („Act“) came into force with a view to addressing shortcomings observed during the application of the previous act, to establish a more efficient system for trademark protection, as well as to align Serbian legislation with the laws of the EU Member States in this field. Placing trademarked goods and services on the market allows the trademark owner to distinguish those goods and services on the market from others that are the same or similar, while simultaneously increasing its responsibility towards consumers.  The importance of trademarks calls for an efficient and simple protection […]

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24 Apr 2020

Taxation: revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (“the Council”) on 18 February 2020 adopted revised conclusions on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes (“the EU list”).  The EU list (Annex I) includes non-EU countries or territories which had not made sufficient commitments in response to the EU‘s concerns about taxation arrangements.  The State of play section (Annex II) lists the jurisdictions which had responded with sufficient commitments.  Therefore, the jurisdictions that do not yet comply with all international tax standards but have committed to reforms are included in Annex II.  These countries need to take effective actions to […]

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24 Jan 2020

Brexit Up and Running

“Saying goodbye to everyone at a party and then proceeding to stick around“ – meaning of Brexiting as branded by the Urban dictionary to describe a specific social faux pas.  Though, as of today, it represents an expression not very up-to-date.  Namely, Presidents of the European Council Charles Michel and of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen signed the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the UK.  The EU Parliament’s plenary is on the move and will vote on the agreement on January 29.  Respectfully, the last step is the adoption by the Council of the reached decision, on behalf […]

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09 Oct 2019

Social Media Giant Faces Scrutiny: Facebook Challenged

Is bad stronger than good? It is a fact that people are far more inclined to remember negative criticism or comments, than praise.  It takes so many positive events to make amends for just one negative event. The Court of Justice of the European Union issued a Press release on October 3, concerning judgement in the case in which Mme Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek sued Facebook Ireland before the Austrian courts.  She requested the removal of the notably harmful comment by a Facebook user which Austrian courts found insulting and defaming.   The news immediately hit the headlines! The plain and simple truth […]

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23 Aug 2019

Be it for Better, be it for Worse – the New State Aid Control Act is Coming!

Alea iacta est! Serbia is in line for a new State Aid Control Act. Ten years ago, when enacted, the first (and still the only) act was welcomed as a long-awaited and indispensable piece of legislation.  Today, and following ten-years’ implementation, we are about to get a new one. What lessons have we drawn from implementation of the current act (apart from the fact that we need a new one)? The reasons for adopting a new act, according to its drafters, are as follows: Harmonization with the EU acquis – Well, that’s a turn-up for the books!  Can you think […]

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19 Jun 2019

Flying on the edge

“I want to get away, I want to fly away”, Lenny Kravitz sang. Ok Lenny, but which airline will you choose? The cheapest one? Way to go! But let’s check something first. Have you noticed the disparity in ticket prices between EU and non-EU airlines, which in turn has a knock-on effect on who you chose to fly with, Lenny? Oh, so, you haven’t noticed? Who cares, right? You usually take to the skies in your private jet so matters as trivial as these don’t concern you. Well, guess what Lenny – THE EU CARES! Aviation is widely regulated throughout […]

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11 May 2016

Gecić | Law Advises on €46 million Asset Sale of Železara Smederevo

Gecić | Law advised Železara Smederevo and the Government of Serbia on EU, regulatory and corporate matters in connection with the €46 million ($52 million) sale of assets of Železara Smederevo’s through a public tender procedure to the Chinese company Hebei Iron and Steel Company Limited (HBIS).  Under the transaction, HBIS pledged to invest at least $300 million in a new company and to utilize the acquired assets to develop its global layout and to provide better service for its customers in Europe. Leading Serbian Steel Manufacturer Železara Smederevo is Serbia’s leading producer of steel and is the second-largest Serbian […]

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