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Law-making Boom Continues In CEE: Finance And Service Sector Are The Most Affected

14th November 2016

Budapest – In six Central and Eastern European (CEE) markets, 1,098 acts were approved between 1 August 2015 and 1 August 2016. This is 5.5% more than in the same period last year, when 1041 acts were approved. Out of the 1098 acts, 483 had a direct impact on business: more than a third of these impacted the business sector in general (37%). Out of the sector-specific laws, the largest amount of acts were approved for the finance sector (17%) as opposed to last year when agriculture was the most impacted (14%), says the Grayling AcTrend Report 2016, prepared by Grayling CEE Public Affairs Practice Group.

Grayling AcTrend Report scrutinized laws passed in six CEE countries - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia - between 1 August 2015 and 1 August 2016. The report also provides an overview on the political environment and outlook on governments’ activities across the region.

Similar to previous years’ results, the most active countries of the region remained to be Romania, with 299 acts passed, Poland with 227 and Hungary with 186. However, the research found only a moderate, 5.5% increase in the number of acts passed compared to last year, totaling to 1098 acts passed in the six CEE markets over the course of the twelve-month period.

44% of the approved acts (483 out of 1098) had a direct impact on business, while more than a third of them affected the business sector in general (37%). Out of the sector-specific laws, the largest amount of acts approved was in the finance (17%) and service (12%) sectors. ICT, industry and interestingly energy were among the least impacted sectors across the region.

Although governments introduced most of the acts related to the business sector (75%), 24% of them were submitted by MPs. As opposed to last year, the most productive MPs are from Poland (43%), Romania (27%) and Bulgaria (25%), while Hungary ended up as fourth (22%). The high number of acts proposed by Polish MPs during the last year was the result of rushing through legislative change before the general election in October 25 in 2015. The number of acts submitted by MPs in Romania increased for the second year in a row. The main reason is the approaching end of the parliamentary term. Likewise, the new electoral law will reduce the number of MPs in the next Parliament, which stimulates lawmakers to make an impression in an attempt to secure eligible seats on their party’s candidate list.

Across CEE, 18.8% of approved acts with an impact on business were passed by an extraordinary procedure, slightly more than last year. As in 2015, it was the most common method this year as well in Romania, where 52% of acts were approved using the Government’s Emergency Ordinance. In Slovakia and the Czech Republic, every act in 2015/16 was approved through a standard procedure, whereas an extraordinary procedure was used to adopt 6-7% of acts in 2014/15. In Slovakia, it was simply not necessary to use an extraordinary procedure and there was an election year, so the Slovak political scene was focused on standard political activities.

Almost half of the adopted acts generated significant media coverage, which is 15% higher than last year. The biggest increases were recorded in Slovakia (39%) and Romania (20%). In Romania, the final year of the current parliamentary term has introduced important legislative changes with an impact on both society and business. In the pre-election campaign in Slovakia, the media, which is not sympathizing with ruling party, SMER highlighted every possible issue which could have negative effect on the party’s popularity.

 ‘Parliaments of the six CEE countries we analysed continue to be very active in legislation. Over the three years we prepare Grayling AcTrend report, MPs in Romania, Poland and Hungary have been the most active lawmakers: 68% of the acts approved by Parliament in this region was passed by the legislators of the three countries. For the future we expect fluctuations in this respect in Romania and in the Czech Republic where general elections are due in the upcoming 10-11 months, and also Hungary has 18 months left from this electoral period’ – commented Gergely Ábrahám, Head of Public Affairs Practice Group of Grayling in CEE on the study.

About this Study

This report was prepared by Grayling Central & Eastern Europe (CEE)’s Public Affairs Practice Group and examines laws passed in six CEE countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia) between 1 August 2015 and 1 August 2016. Grayling's Public Affairs teams used publicly available data (mainly parliamentary websites) for the research and the report covers acts of Parliament only. In terms of media coverage, Grayling’s teams did not make a quantitative analysis of the coverage generated by each piece of legislation; if an article focusing on the act in question appeared in one of the most respected and/or widely-read media titles, it was categorized as an act which generated ‘significant’ media coverage. 

Grayling Team

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