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Earlier this month, Bulgaria’s Competition Protection Commission (CPC) unveiled its strategic priorities for 2024, identifying sectors and activities that warrant increased regulatory scrutiny. These priorities will guide the CPC’s operational functions, which include market monitoring, signal verification, the initiation of administrative proceedings, market investigations, and ongoing enforcement actions.

Having a somewhat steady Government and Parliament since mid-2023 has led to more predictability in the Bulgarian regulatory environment for renewables. In October 2023, some important and significant changes to the RES Act entered into force, thus solidifying local support for renewable energy.

Deal activity (both in terms of value and volume) dropped at the end of 2023 and the start of 2024. This is hardly surprising considering the overall unstable international environment and the variety of destabilizing factors at play. Regardless, we see signs of recovery.

It has started humbly, but 2024 is expected to be a year of interesting political developments. At a global level, there will be elections for the President of the United States and for the European Parliament. At a local level, in Bulgaria, a rotation of the government is expected, which means that, according to the preliminary agreements between the governing parties, the position of the Prime Minister will be taken by Mariya Gabriel (of the GERB party; currently at the position of Deputy Prime Minister), who will replace the current Prime Minister – Nikolay Denkov (of the We Continue the Change party) – in March. For now, it is still questionable whether this switch will trigger the termination of the mandate of some of the ministers.

Galloping inflation and post-COVID-19 challenges are shaping the litigation market in Austria, with an unparalleled volume of insolvencies feeding into a high rate of litigation. Meanwhile, the Austrian government remains hesitant to implement the European collective redress system.

Internal investigations continue to be a crucial part of a robust compliance management system. Short messages exchanged on smartphones have become a significant source for internal as well as external investigations. The Austrian prosecution authority understands that screening smartphones is close to “manna from heaven” for any investigator. This Market Snapshot reports on two important developments in Austria: a constitutional court decision requiring a significant change of the law, and the impact of the newly implemented law for the protection of whistleblowers.

CMS Poland Managing Partner Andrzej Posniak and CMS Croatia Partner Tamara Jelic Kazic discuss the complexities and opportunities inherent to the region’s tax landscape.

In The Debrief, our Practice Leaders across CEE share updates on recent and upcoming legislation, consider the impact of recent court decisions, showcase landmark projects, and keep our readers apprised of the latest developments impacting their respective practice areas.

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