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According to the United Nations eGovernment Development Survey 2022, Serbia’s eGovernment Development Index was evaluated as “very high,” moving forward 18 places. Following the Strategy for the Development of Artificial Intelligence, Serbia set the use of AI in the healthcare sector as a priority and started supporting projects for cooperation between public bodies and commerce to share and use data. Digitalization prevents corruption but, on the other hand, cannot meet the expectations of citizens if data protection principles are not implemented in real time.

Although there are several incentives for renewable energy projects supported by the state, there also seem to be several factors that could impede Serbia’s potential for renewables and deter further investments in the sector. Kinstellar Belgrade Managing Partner Branislav Maric, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic Senior Partner Jelena Gazivoda, and Gecic Law Partner Ognjen Colic weigh which will carry a stronger impact.

There is a growing concern, across CEE, about a potential wave of insolvency and restructuring proceedings. Given the economic aftermath of COVID-19, coupled with the ramifications of rising inflation and interest rates, energy crisis concerns, and the war in Ukraine – the road ahead seems bumpy at best.

As the terms “hunger” and “benefits” in most cases exclude each other and expectations of all interested parties are high on both ends, we spent hours listening carefully
to what lecturers and panelists of our data protection conference were saying, to summarise ideas and solutions to a complex question from the headline.

After the Parliament of Montenegro adopted Law on amendments to the Law of Foreigners and introduced legal framework for digital nomads earlier in August 2022, further activities were undertaken in order to establish the practical applicability of the adopted legal framework.

The fact that the last 20 years have been marked by the expansion of digital markets has undoubtedly contributed to the "enthronement" of leading companies in dominant positions all over the planet, created issues of effective competition enforcement regulations and the obvious need for more comprehensive and better regulation of the markets themselves.

In the last two months, the Commission for the Protection of Competition (“Commission”) initiated several different proceedings i.e., 3 gun-jumping cases, one for abuse of a dominant position and one case regarding restrictive agreements. It is necessary to pay attention to these proceedings, because they are not coincidences but rather are initiated due to Commission’s reasonable doubt that market participants have breached the Law on Protection of Competition of Republic of Serbia (“Law“).

If one takes into account the applicable Law on Companies of the Republic of Serbia, every branch office, including a branch office of a foreign legal person, represents a separate organizational unit of a company through which such company conducts its business activities in Serbia. A branch office does not hold the status of legal person, it only acts in the name and on behalf of the company that founded it, in the respective legal transactions of the company.

The Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning, and Urbanism of Montenegro („Ministry“) enacted a Rulebook on closer criteria for the assessment of requests for the issuance of urbanistic-technical conditions for the construction of facilities for the production of electricity from renewable sources of the sun and other renewable sources (“Rulebook”). The Rulebook entered into force on the day of its publication in the Official Gazette of Montenegro, i.e., on 12 October 2022.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Decision on the amount of the minimum wage for the period January-December 2023, by which the minimum wage in Serbia was increased from net 201.22 RSD per working hour to net 230 RSD in 2023.

The Fiscal Council of the Republic of Serbia published on 29 September 2022 the „Proposal of social and tax policy measures for reducing inequality and poverty risks in the Republic of Serbia“. One of the proposed measures of tax policy for reducing inequality is doubling the limit of non-taxable salary amount, from RSD 19,300 to RSD 40,000 and introduction of non-taxable census of RSD 20,000 per month, to be granted for each household member – dependent. In order to maintain the existing level of budgetary funds, should this proposed reform of individual income tax be adopted, i.e. in order to prevent decrease of budgetary funds due to the reform, it is necessary to increase the salary tax rate from 10% to 15% in parallel with increase of non-taxable census and introduction of non-taxable census for household members-dependents. 

To comply with the highest European standards and safety conditions – Law on amendments to the Law on payment transactions (“Law”) has been adopted in the Parliament of Montenegro on 29 September 2022. Free movement of capital and full compliance with the Payment Service Directive 2 (“PSD2”) were main reasons for adopting the Law which shall ensure that the provisions of payment services in Montenegro are regulated in the same way as in the member states of the European Union.

Research of major global agencies show that the realization of profit is proportional to the degree of trust that customers have in retailers, regarding the processing of their personal data. Retailers that consider themselves socially responsible should know that investing in the protection of customers' personal data is an added value for the company - this type of investment strengthens the trust of customers, contributes to strengthening the competitive position on the market and increases profit. Most importantly, retailers have to understand that the personal data they collect from citizens is not their property, and that the right to privacy is one of elementary rights of citizens, which they are obliged to process in accordance with legal regulations.

JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic at a Glance

We are a full service commercial law firm in Serbia, with over 30 years of successful practice in SEE region and true and lasting partnerships with our clients.

Our diverse teams of lawyers are focused on practice in specific legal areas, handling some of the most high-profile multijurisdictional matters in energy, project development, mining, foreign investments, corporate and commercial. We are highly sought-after for legal advice in creative industries, environmental law and white-collar crime, as well as intellectual property, international arbitration, labor and data protection

As an exclusive member of Lex Mundi – the world’s premiere network of leading independent law firms, we interconnect and reach globally. Regionally, we advise clients in Montenegro directly, through well established partnership with ‘JPM Montenegro Partner Vukmirovic Misic law firm’ and close working relationships with selected first-rate firms in the region. Working together with our domestic and international clients on their most significant transactions and around entry to Serbian market, allows us to operate as the perfect hub for SEE and other cross-border transactions.

Our clients operate in increasingly competitive landscape and we are identifying new methods of using legal technology, to help them increase efficiency, save time and streamline work processes - document management, billing and accounting. By adopting LUMINANCE AI platform for legal professionals, we use machine-learning for contract analyses across our practice groups, as well as eDiscovery revolutionary software to simplify operations in all forms of litigation.

With exclusive access to EQUISPHERE – Lex Mundi Innovative service model, our clients can design their own legal team by choosing the best lawyers in the relevant jurisdictions, sharing documentation and communicating with all teams at any time, from a single point of contact.

Consistently recognized as a top-tier law firm, both by clients and leading independent legal directories Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and IFLR1000, we remain committed to delivering highest quality service to our clients and help them succeed in overcoming cross-border challenges. We remain committed to continuously share our knowledge by regularly publishing articles, giving lectures and organizing international conferences.

Firm's website: http://jpm.rs/