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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New Approach to No-Deal Brexit in Poland – Polish Brexit Bill Will Grant a Transition Period for UK Financial Market Entities

As the political turmoil regarding Brexit continues to grow in the UK, the spectre of a “no-deal” Brexit becomes a very realistic scenario. The shortness of time left to make the final decision is forcing businesses in the UK and EU to view the short-term future with unease and anxiety, particularly the uncertainty surrounding the legal standing of UK firms operating in the EU countries. This also applies to UK undertakings that conduct their economic activity in Poland.

With regard to the financial market, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) announced on 29 January 2019 that there would be no transition period for UK entities in case of no-deal Brexit (see our previous article on this issue).

This approach has been reversed by the Polish authorities, through the drafting a bill that provides for a set of provisions to facilitate the legal situation of such undertakings. The main goal of the law passed on 15 March 2019 is to grant additional time to the UK companies following a Brexit where there is no general treaty between UK and EU to regulate such a process.

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Is it safe?

Under Czech law, can a statutory body member of a Czech company escape from the risk of his/her liability, if a certain action (e.g. entering into a contract on behalf of the company) is approved by GM or the sole shareholder in advance? Directors of Czech limited liability companies and members of boards of directors of Czech joint-stock companies from various countries and with different legal backgrounds and experience may well be asking themselves this single question. Is it safe? Continue Reading

Polish data protection authority announces which sectors will come under scrutiny in 2019

On 24 January 2019, the Personal Data Protection Office (UODO) published a sectoral inspection schedule for 2019. According to the schedule, as approved by UODO’s President, the inspections will aim at verifying the legitimacy of personal data processing in the following private sectors: telemarketing, data brokers (as regards legal grounds for personal data processing) and profiling in the banking and insurance sector.

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KNF-Polish Financial Supervision Authority Announces No Transition Period for UK Entities in the Case of a No-deal Brexit

UK EUIn the announcement of 29 January 2019, KNF-Polish Financial Supervision Authority confirmed that, in the case of no-deal Brexit, UK entities operating on the Polish financial market will be treated as third-country entities.

In the wake of the recent British Parliament vote rejecting the UK’s EU withdrawal agreement, the eventuality of a no-deal Brexit has become more likely than merely a month ago. This has been corroborated by the reactions of certain European politicians who – in response to the 29 January  2019 House of Commons vote indicating support for the Brexit deal would hinge upon amending certain provisions – now rule out the likelihood of any deal renegotiation. Therefore, EU Member States have been increasingly interested in weighing up the legal and business ramifications of a possible Brexit with no contractual provisions whatsoever.

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Registration of a lease in CEE – should it be on your checklist or not?

When two do the same, it is not the same. This old saying is true especially when comparing legal regulations in different countries. Businesses that are present in various jurisdictions sometimes tend to expect the same, when, at first glance, the regulation seems to be similar. Continue Reading

Poland – immigration status of the UK nationals after Brexit

Pending Brexit, on  January 11, 2019, the Polish government made available for consultation the draft act on the rules of residence of British nationals and their family members in the Republic of Poland due to the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community.

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Poland’s New Energy Policy Until 2040 Goes Nuclear

On November 23 this year, the Ministry of Energy published its draft Polish Energy Policy until 2040 (PEP2040). This long-awaited document is significant for both the energy sector and the entire economy; however, it is subject to social consultations until January 15, 2019, and its assumptions may (but do not have to) evolve.

A Generational Structural Change

A key principle of PEP2040 is the declaration to alter the structure of fuels used to generate electricity. This is the first official statement by the government declaring a marked reduction in dependency on coal (virtually by 50%) and in favor of nuclear power plants.

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