Data privacy update for Poland – July 2019

Recently the Polish regulator (UODO) published the updated list of processing operations which require a data protection impact assessment – the consequence of the EDPB’s objection to the original “black list” published by UODO back in 2018. Additionally, UODO prepared detailed guidelines on the duties of controllers in connection with data breaches under the GDPR, to be followed by controllers in case of data incidents. More about that in Magdalena Gad-Nowak’s post in the Data Privacy & Cybersecurity blog. The post also summarizes a very interesting, yet controversial, recent decision of the Supreme Administrative Court, which found that license plate numbers do NOT constitute personal data. Enjoy!

Dividing Companies by Separation – Divided Company Now Held Liable in Poland

Corporate SplitThe liability of divided companies for the obligations of acquiring or newly incorporated companies under division by separation has given rise to controversy and debate within the legal doctrine in Poland. The legislation in force before March 1, 2019, did not provide the creditors of dividing companies with much protection.

Since March 1, 2019, under amended Article 546(1) of the Code of Commercial Companies (CCC), it has been possible to attribute joint liability to the acquiring or newly incorporated companies as well as the divided company – a milestone for the legal transactions practice. It now provides sufficient protection for the divided company’s creditors, who previously had limited effective means to control asset shifts under division by separation, which caused creditors to doubt that the transactions were secure.

The ratio legis of the amended regulation was, according to the rationale for the bill, to guarantee that the interests of the divided company’s creditors are adequately protected. The previous wording of Article 546 of the CCC did not expressly provide for any liability on the part of the divided company for the acquiring companies’ obligations. Therefore, the dividing company could shift its liabilities (or debts) to less solvent entities, while leaving the assets with the dividing company. Given the absence of express joint liability on the part of the divided company for the debts transferred to the acquiring company, the so-called profit and loss centers could have materialized, thus rendering it impossible for creditors to satisfy their claims. As stipulated in the CCC, creditors have only limited participation in the company division procedure. In the legislator’s assessment, it was necessary to lay express legal foundations for joint liability on the part of the divided company for the obligations shifted to the acquiring companies, which will better protect creditors’ interests.

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Poland and the US Sign a Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation – What Can We Expect?

Poland and the US signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on strategic civil nuclear cooperation on June 12. The MoU emphasizes the desire to establish a deeper bilateral strategic relationship aiming at energy security and meeting Poland’s clean energy needs. These aims are to be achieved by:

  • Collaboration for developing Polish infrastructure for the responsible use of nuclear energy and technologies
  • Adoption of best practices in nuclear safety, security and independent regulatory oversight
  • Exploration of cooperation across the breadth of existing and future US reactor technologies, fuel, equipment and services
  • Identifying a pathway to Poland’s development of a civil nuclear program, including addressing commercial challenges such as financing and workforce development

In a prior post (Poland’s New Energy Policy Until 2040 Goes Nuclear), we described the development of nuclear energy as one of the key elements of the new Polish Energy Policy until 2040. This plan focused on the planned 6,000-9,000MW of generation by nuclear power plants (NPPs). Although we are still waiting for the final version of this Energy Policy until 2040, with the signing of the MoU, Poland appears to be taking further steps to follow the Polish Energy Policy 2040 goals. Continue Reading

Renewable Energy Sources Act Amendments in Poland – Additional Arrivals to Governmental Legislation Center in June, Continued

Things are gaining momentum. In our post of June 7, 2019, we wrote about the major changes to the draft Renewable Energy Sources Act (RES) posted on the government website on June 5. Not long thereafter, a new supplemented version 6 appeared. We believe one new development is worth our attention.

By Way of Introduction, Freezing Energy Prices in Poland in 2019

It is no secret that energy prices presented to entrepreneurs in Poland skyrocketed toward the end of 2018, and Parliament fast-tracked the law, “freezing” the prices for entrepreneurs for 2019. It may go without saying, but artificially affecting the energy sector in a free-market economy is futile for a very simple reason: the future reality check will be all the stronger. Continue Reading

Digital Constitution passes the first round in the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic

Recently, legislators in the Czech Republic made an important step towards strengthening the rights of natural and legal persons as “clients of public authorities” to the provision of services by public authorities in the form of digital services. The draft Act on the Right to Digital Services (“ARDS”), also called “Digital Constitution”, presents a revolutionary approach to communication with the public authorities, and has been greeted with great acclaim by the general public. Continue Reading

Draft Amendments to the Renewable Energy Sources Act in Poland announced on Governmental Legislation Center

Mixed-race-man-checking-solar-panels

Under Pressure 

On 5 June, the draft amendments to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (RES Act) were posted on the Governmental Legislation Center website. It is no secret that Poland will not meet the RES energy production level targets imposed by EU Directives, regardless of the means undertaken. Despite this, one positive is that the government is at least trying to make the investors’ lives (and project performance) easier, save some of the ready-to-go projects and make the gap as small as it can be. Many of the draft amendments are rational and desirable to the industry. As a result, the volumes for the upcoming 2019 auctions have already been increased significantly.

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Employees go voting in CEE – what you need to know as HR professional

EU Question Mark

Between 23 and 26 May 2019, more than 400 million European citizens will have the right to vote in the European Parliament elections. This is where the similarities between the CEE countries seem to end. Voters in the Czech Republic will be voting on 24 and 25 May 2019, in Slovak Republic on 25 May and, finally, in Poland on 26 May 2019, as elections in Poland are organized on a typically non-working day.

In the 2019 elections, voters in Poland will elect 51 Parliament members, voters in Czech Republic 21 and voters in Slovakia will elect 13 Parliament members. These numbers may increase if the UK leaves the EU.

So what do you need to know about the elections as an HR professional in CEE? We have rounded up the most common questions below. Continue Reading

Elections to the European Parliament – How Poland Counts the Votes

European Parliament

Poland’s voters head to the polls on 26 May in the elections for the European Parliament, with 51 seats at stake. Although the campaign is in full swing, an understanding of the rules for determining the winners is lacking. Whereas the rules in a simple “first past the post” election are quite easy to explain (and they provide a clear overview of the outcomes with regard to the elected candidates because the candidate in each district with the greatest number of votes wins), elections to the European Parliament are based on proportional voting mechanisms. Poland’s system is very complex. Two complex methods, called the D’Hondt method and the Hare–Niemeyer method, are applied in the second stage of tabulating votes. Unfortunately it is difficult to find any straightforward guide to the main principles. For instance, the State Election Commission provides all the data relevant to the election, but no helpful summaries of the election principles. Continue Reading

National Bank of Slovakia Launches Fintech Innovation Hub

On Friday 29 March 2019, the Economic University in Bratislava hosted the recurring session of the Center for Financial Innovations established by the Slovak Ministry of Finance. We participate in these sessions, along with other representatives of academics, banks and fintech companies. The focus of the event was a discussion related to the EU’s action plan for financial innovations, crowdfunding, venture funding for fintech SME’s and the regulatory approach to financial innovations. At the event, the representative of the National Bank of Slovakia (NBS), Júlia Čillíková, announced the long-awaited launch of the first Fintech Innovation Hub as of 1 April 2019.

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PLN 1 Million Fine for GDPR Violation

GDPR Warning Sign

On March 26, 2019, the Polish Data Protection regulator (Urząd Ochrony Danych Osobowych – UODO) announced the first administrative fine imposed on a Warsaw-based company for failure to meet the informational obligation toward the data subjects whose data it processed, in violation of article 14 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The fined company – which considers itself a European leader in the provision of data and analytics – uses advanced analysis and scoring models to predict clients’ behaviour and to assist companies in making business decisions. It processes public information on more than six million enterpreneurs (both active and inactive), which it attains from various publicly available registers. The company’s database allows the verification of those entities’ credibility and are often used, in particular, by banks to verify the creditworthiness of the data subjects.

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