EU

25 Jan 2023

Tirana Declaration – Western Balkans Working Together for a Greener Future?

EU and Western Balkans leaders gathered in Albania last December for the EU and Western Balkans Summit to discuss cooperation and EU perspectives of the region. The Tirana Declaration (“Declaration”) was signed between the leaders of the Western Balkans Six and the EU Member States, with representatives of the EU Council and the EU Commission. The document comprises specific initiatives to strengthen regional cooperation in parallel with the EU accession processes. One of the Declaration’s critical topics was the Western Balkans’ commitment to fully implement the Green Agenda and develop a carbon pricing policy in the context of the EU […]

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17 Jan 2023

The Dawn of Green Protectionism?

In her keynote speech at the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos, Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission President, outlined yesterday the main pillars of the EU’s Green Deal Industrial Plan to boost Europe’s leadership in green technology on its road to carbon neutrality.  “We know we have a small window to invest in clean tech and innovation to gain leadership before the fossil fuel economy becomes obsolete,” said von der Leyen. As the plan’s regulatory pillar, she announced a new Net-zero Industry Act to support the “greatest industrial transformation of our times” and keep up with strongly incentivized programs […]

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13 Jan 2023

EU’s Foreign Subsidies Regulation Comes into Force

As anticipated for some time in the previous months, while having been agreed upon between the EU institutions, the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (Regulation) finally saw the light of day on January 12, 2023. Its application will commence on July 12, 2023. The Regulation offers new tools for the European Commission (Commission) to investigate financial contributions from non-EU countries to companies operating in the EU to prevent distortions in the internal market. This specific State aid regime provides for an extended application of EU rules and the Commission’s competencies beyond the EU borders. One of the notable features is that the […]

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29 Dec 2022

CBAM Final Deal – The World’s First Carbon Border Tariff

The European Union is fast-tracking the road to a greener future as EU institutions reach provisional agreements on the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (“CBAM”) and the EU Emissions Trading System (“ETS”).  After round-the-clock negotiations between EU officials, the “Fit for 55” legislative package with the ultimate goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050 is now being finalized.  What are the implications for non-EU countries?   EU’s Climate Action Recognizing the threats of climate change, the European Union adopted a range of climate laws, which includes the ETS and the CBAM, as part of the revolutionary “Fit for 55” legislative package.  In contrast to the […]

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23 Dec 2022

European Court of Justice: Public Registries are too Public

The Judgment of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ“) from November this year raised the issue of compatibility of proclaimed fundamental human rights with public registers of ultimate beneficial owners available to all interested parties (“Judgment“). According to the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Directive (the “Fourth AML Directive“), all European Union member states were obliged to make public the registers of beneficial owners of companies operating in their countries so that they can be accessed by any person who has a “legitimate interest.” Accordingly, in 2019, Luxembourg passed a law confirming this directive.  It established a register of ultimate […]

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22 Dec 2022

The First Effects of the DMA

The European Commission (Commission) continues to work on implementing the Digital Markets Act (DMA).  On December 9, 2022, the Commission published a draft regulation on implementing the DMA and annexes.  Public consultations are currently underway until January 6, 2023.  The Commission would like to consider the input of different publics and take on board their suggestions, comments, and proposals when finalizing this draft regulation.  Feedback received will be published on the Commission’s website and must adhere to the rules for input and suggestions.  To participate in the public consultation process, interested parties must register. The regulation aims to ensure fair, efficient, and complete […]

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13 Dec 2022

Bosnia and Herzegovina Knocking on the EU’s Door

A significant and long-awaited day for Bosnia and Herzegovina! As announced by the Council of the EU, the EU General Affairs Council recommended granting the candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina.  The European Council will make the formal decision on Thursday, December 15, at the summit of the leaders EU’s 27 in Brussels. It’s been six years since the country submitted its formal application for full membership in the EU back in 2016.  The process is now nearing its conclusion, and yet another Western Balkans country is about to reach its primary goal – attaining candidate status as an essential step […]

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08 Dec 2022

EU and Western Balkans Commit to Reducing Roaming Fees

European Union (EU) and Western Balkans telecommunication operators signed a Roaming Declaration at the EU-Western Balkans Summit held on Tuesday in Tirana. According to the Declaration, Western Balkans – EU roaming charges will be reduced voluntarily from 1 October 2023, with subsequent reductions gradually leading to their complete elimination. The commitment was also reinforced as part of the Tirana Declaration, which was agreed upon at the Summit. The initiative is another crucial step in bringing the Western Balkans closer to the EU. It aims to enhance connectivity, mobility, and affordability of telecommunication services for individuals and businesses, contributing to more opportunities for […]

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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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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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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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14 Oct 2022

The DMA is Here – And Now What?

Europe is now fit for the digital age as the long-awaited Digital Markets Act (DMA) was published in the Official Journal on October 12. Adopted by the European Parliament in September, the DMA will enter into force on November 1 and start to apply in May next year.  The act provides a framework to prevent the most prominent digital companies, the so-called “gatekeepers,” from abusing their market power, ensuring greater competition in digital markets, and sparking more innovation in the industry. The DMA will primarily target the world’s most powerful corporations in the IT industry, commonly referred to as the “Big Five” […]

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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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12 Aug 2022

EU Parliament Adopts Digital Services Package

Despite rapid developments in technology and business, EU laws on e-commerce have not been updated for more than 20 years.  To keep up with the digital revolution, the EU Parliament („EP“) adopted the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”) and the Digital Services Act (“DSA”).  The  DMA was adopted in July 2022 and it will start to apply at the beginning of 2023.  As for the DSA, it is expected to be implemented in early 2024. Why was the DMA adopted? This act provides a framework that is tailored to the major influence of the largest digital companies, known as “gatekeepers” – […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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11 Dec 2018

Yes, We Can! Reversing Brexit is a Viable Option under Lisbon Treaty [EU Law]!

A rainy tale of two e-mails The former Foreign Secretary and Mayor of London, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, also known as “Boris Johnson”, was sitting on his chair in front of his laptop on a rainy February day in 2016. He had two word files in front of him. With a scent of political mysticism, and a flash of destiny overwhelming his Etonian eyes, he had to choose which file to send to the Sunday Times, to file that will turn into an article that will grant him the key to his favorite immovable property – 10 Downing Street […]

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22 Nov 2016

Neutrality Everywhere? A Brief Look at the Chillin’Competition Conference 2016

For the second year in a row, the Chillin’Competition conference drew practitioners, scholars and regulators from across Europe with a promise of an unparalleled array of distinguished speakers focusing on the topic of the neutrality principle and its role in competition law. And it certainly delivered! Alfonso Lamadrid, one of the founders of the Chillin’Competition blog (seen giving the opening remarks above), started the conference by stressing the importance of discussing the concept of substantive neutrality, its meaning and the scope of application in different fields of competition law. Keynote Address – Margrethe Vestager Keynote speaker Margrethe Vestager, EC Commissioner […]

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