Seven years after its accession to the European Union, Croatia has entered the last stage of preparation to adopt the euro. The European Central Bank recently announced a list of eight Croatian banks which will be under its direct supervision following the country's admission to the exchange rate mechanism (ERM II) and the banking union. Since Croatia entered both the banking union and ERM II simultaneously, adopting the euro may be possible in 2023.
At present, the regulation of the AI sector in Croatia is practically non-existent, as is the case in many other EU member states. This might be viewed as troublesome, as the technology is advancing rapidly without a specific legal control system to provide guidance. However, the issues arising from the use of AI are complex and difficult to foresee, which makes the legislative process time consuming and demanding.
During and following the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in Croatia, the government launched three packages of measures to mitigate the lockdown's effects on the economy. Since a large number of businesses remain far from recovery and their liquidity in the upcoming period is questionable, new types of financing option and support from the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development are being introduced.
A second package of government measures for mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Croatian economy recently entered into force. The measures for reducing the rate of unemployment include subsidised salaries for employees in affected sectors, the discontinuation of existing employment and self-employment subsidies to secure additional funds to preserve employment in affected sectors and the extension of subsidies for permanent seasonal workers.
The second package of government measures for mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Croatian economy, which recently entered into force, includes a number of tax exemptions for companies. For example, companies whose revenue in April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 has fallen by 50% or more compared with the respective month in 2019 will be completely exempt from their tax liabilities – namely, from paying profit tax, income tax and contributions.
Croatia has among the lowest number of infected persons and persons requiring hospital care due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite this fact, the government has amended the Electronic Communications Act enabling the legal use of mobile data as an additional tool in its strategy to combat the pandemic. However, the process has been deterred by the opposition finding the amendments potentially unconstitutional and unjustified.
As the whole world is struggling to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and the consecutive economic fallout, the Croatian banking and financial sector has introduced a number of measures to alleviate the pressure on struggling companies as well as citizens affected by the crisis. The Croatian National Bank has taken several actions with the purpose of increasing the liquidity of the financial system and provided additional liquidity for commercial banks, which have also introduced their own measures.
On 20 March 2020 Parliament almost unanimously passed amendments to 19 laws enabling the government to implement rules and regulations for 63 different measures which aim to help and protect domestic businesses, companies and citizens whose business activities have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This article provides an overview of the most important measures.
This article provides an overview of banking regulation in Croatia, including which authorities govern banking regulation and what the central bank's role is therein, the type of licence required to conduct banking services and what the application process is like, the forms of bank which can operate in Croatia and how are they regulated and how the Croatian regulatory regime distinguishes between different forms of bank.
Croatian state-owned electricity company HEP Group is seeking partners for renewable energy projects. To this end, the company has launched an open call for expressions of interest in the development and sale of renewable energy source (RES) projects. HEP's latest initiative relates to the development and construction of different RES projects in Croatia, as well as the integration of completed projects and those in an advanced stage of development into its power generation portfolio.
Four new exploration blocks in the Dinarides have been offered in the third licensing round for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Croatia. This recent licensing round of the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency focuses on the central and southern regions. The deadline for the submission of bids is 10 September 2019 and the licences are tentatively scheduled to be announced in December 2019.
The second of three planned onshore licencing rounds for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Croatia is currently underway. Seven exploration blocks in southwest and central Croatia and central Slavonia have been offered in this bidding round. After the tender procedure has been completed and the most successful bidder has been selected, the Croatian government will issue a decision on awarding an onshore exploration and exploitation licence for each of the seven blocks.
The government recently adopted a number of amendments to the Act on Renewable Energy Sources and High-Efficiency Cogeneration. According to the government, the amendments aim to harmonise national law with the EU legal framework, introduce an integration process for eligible producers of renewable electricity and high-efficiency cogeneration on the electricity market and reduce the obligation on suppliers to purchase renewables at a regulated price that is higher than the market price.
The EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) aims to enhance competition in otherwise traditional and closed industries. A draft of the new Payment System Act, transposing PSD2, was recently released for public consultation. The draft defines the information that banks must forward to third parties for each category of payment services and sets limits on forwarding more information than is expressly requested from a bank.
The European Commission's recent communication shows that only two member states have adopted the national legislation required to implement the EU General Data Protection Regulation. Others, Croatia included, are at different stages of the process. To meet the May 25 2018 deadline, Croatia should promptly address its national approach to open issues – in particular, its policies surrounding administrative fines.