December 2012 - Transparency International (TI) released its 2012 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) this week. The 2012 CPI surveys 176 countries and territories (seven fewer than last year).
August 2012 – The Council of the Slovak Antimonopoly Office upheld a first instance decision in which a Slovak electricity distribution company, ZSE Distribúcia a.s., was fined for abusing a dominant position by charging excessive fees for taking special electricity meter readings in the course of customers’ shifting to another electricity supplier.
On 22 March 2012, the General Court dismissed actions brought by Slovak Telekom against the European Commission Decisions, which imposed an obligation on Slovak Telekom to provide particular information concerning its business activities (including its activities before the accession of Slovakia to the European Union) and stated that Slovak Telekom will be fined if it does not comply with the Decisions.
An amendment to the Slovak Insolvency Code has been recently approved by the Parliament (the “Amendment“). The Amendment, which is considered to be the most significant amendment to the current Slovak Insolvency Code since its introduction back in 2006, seeks to revise those provisions of the Insolvency Code that have proven to be problematic in their application, or less effective than originally intended.
In May 2011, the Serbian parliament adopted a new company law, which is scheduled to take effect on 1 February 2012 (hereinafter: the “New Company Law”). The new legislation will replace the current company law that has been in force since 2004 (hereinafter: the “Old Company Law”).
On 19 October 2011, the Slovak Parliament passed an amendment to the Competition Act (the “Amendment”). It was signed by the President of Slovakia on 4 November 2011 and following its publication in the Collection of Laws, it will become effective on 1 January 2012 and will apply to concentrations notified after the same date. The Amendment introduces a number of changes to the procedure for assessment and notification of concentrations, including changes to notification thresholds (enacting, in all types of concentration, a local effects test), a shift from the ‘test of dominance’ to an ‘effective competition test’ and splitting the notification procedure into a Phase I and Phase II review process. Parallel to the Amendment, an amendment to the Merger Control Decree was passed (the “Amendment Decree”), complementing the changes introduced by the Amendment.
The Slovak Parliament passed an amendment to the Slovak Labour Code on 13 July 2011 (the “Amendment”). The Amendment, which was published in the Collection of Laws under No. 257/2011 Coll., will take effect on 1 September 2011. It is known as perhaps the most criticized and debated bill of the new Slovak Government. This article provides a summary of the most important changes being introduced by the Amendment, in particular:
I. Managerial employees
II. Termination of employment
III. Severance payment
V. Renewal of employment for a fixed term
VI. Limitation of weekly days off
VII. Working time account
This article draws attention to a state aid case dating back to 2004. The European Commission ordered the Slovak Republic to recover unlawful state aid from FRUCONA Košice, a.s. (“Frucona”). Following the Commission’s decision, the Slovak Republic, having at that time no other legal means of recovery under Slovak law, filed a court action against Frucona for the payment of the EUR 13.8 million state aid. The Slovak courts dismissed the action and drew their own conclusions about the state aid provided to Frucona and also concluded that the Commission’s order to recover the EUR 13.8 million in state aid is only binding on the Slovak Republic and not on Frucona. Slovakia subsequently found itself in breach of EU law on the grounds that it failed to fulfil the Commission’s order for recovery. The amendment to the Act on State Aid and to the Enforcement Code unofficially known as ‘Lex Frucona’ is the Slovak Government’s response to enable that the Commission’s decisions on unlawful state aid are directly enforceable in Slovakia.
The new Bribery Act came into force in the United Kingdom on 1 July 2011. The Bribery Act introduces large-scale changes to UK laws in the area of business and commerce and is known as the “toughest anti-corruption legislation in the world”. It applies to both individuals and companies. It covers UK companies and foreign companies, provided that they have some operations in the UK.
Following the EU-wide initiatives for the introduction of special levies and taxes on financial institutions, the Slovak draft “Act on Special Levy for Selected Financial Institutions” aims to introduce a levy on the banks and branches of foreign banks in Slovakia. This article gives a short overview of the draft Bill.