Newsroom / News / Media / Info Magazine LGP NEWS 03/2022

Info Magazine LGP NEWS 03/2022

Info Magazine LGP NEWS 03/2022

BALANCING ACT - The Role of Law between Order and Chaos

Europe is lurching from crisis to crisis, politicians seem increasingly helpless, the war in Ukraine is omnipresent. What we need urgently now is a functioning rule of law that creates a secure framework with comprehensible and acceptable rules in order to be able to meet the current multiple challenges in the best possible way. In his contribution, Alexander Schall, an experienced corporate lawyer and trained psychoanalyst, explores the fascinating role that law plays in society’s tightrope walk between violence, aggression and joie de vivre, and to what extent the law can contribute to society’s ability to change and develop despite enormous disruptions. 

We live in a time when we must ask ourselves how brave we are today. A look at the advancing climate change and the dramatic rise in energy prices shows that we still have a long way to go towards a climate-neutral society. The much-cited “ecological turnaround” probably has by far the greatest potential to become a sustainable game-changer for the whole of Europe. In his guest commentary, France’s “Monsieur Hydrogène” Michel Delpon reports on how the path to a green hydrogen society could look and what enormous future potential this emission-free energy carrier has for the economy, industry, and agriculture. 

Managing Partner Ronald Frankl takes us into the fascinating virtual universe of cryptocurrencies, blockchain & co. He examines smart contracts from a legal perspective, analyses the advantages of the new DLT Pilot Regime Regulation for trading with security tokens and explains why moving out of Austria as of 1 March 2022 no longer prevents cryptocurrencies from being taxed under Austrian tax law. 

Conversely, an amendment to the Foreign Nationals Employment Act has brought some important changes since 1 October 2022, which decisively facilitates access to the labour market in Austria for highly qualified professionals from third countries. Managing Partner and immigration law expert Valentin Neuser explains in his article how these legal adjustments affect the current labour market situation and the acute lack of skilled workers in shortage occupations. 

We wish you, our friends and clients, an exciting and informative read. 

Security of the rule of law put to the test

The rule of law forms the basis of our coexistence by guaranteeing the autonomy and peace of self-determined individuals. What role does the law play in society’s tightrope walk between violence, aggression, and joie de vivre? 

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EU Sanctions Law: Quo vadis?

The EU’s latest sanctions packages already show that the focus does not lie solely on measures for further economic sectors and the extension of the sanctions lists: it also revolves around new kinds of bans and prohibitions, as well as the tightening of enforcement. Precisely because this is the responsibility of Member States, there are issues with delays – and major differences. New proposals by  the EU Commission are intended to help curb violations of restrictive measures imposed by the Union in the long term. 

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Azerbaijan as new EU energy partner

While the supply of Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor already started in December 2020, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Azerbaijan on 18 July 2022 to expand bilateral cooperation. LGP Legal Consultant Orkhan Ismayilov spoke with Elnur Soltanov, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan, about new strategic partnerships in the energy sector. 

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Hydrogen – hope for the future

We are witnessing a huge race to find solutions to the current energy price crisis. LGP Senior Expert Counsel Klaus Wölfer spoke to Erich Gornik, one of Europe’s leading experts on nanotechnology and semiconductor devices, about hydrogen as an important energy source and why it pays to put scientific findings above political slogans, headlines and short-term hype.

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Towards a green hydrogen society

Our focus on hydrogen and France is complemented by a current policy paper on green hydrogen. In his guest editorial, French politician Michel Delpon, France’s “Monsieur Hydrogène”, discusses the great potential of this emission-free energy source for business, industry and agriculture. 

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Western Balkans from an EU perspective?

The future of the Western Balkans is in the European Union. Although the success of the enlargement process would be very important geostrategically for both sides, the risks of failure are much greater than the difficulties to be overcome. 

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Human rights vs. crime prevention

Lawyers nowadays more and more often face situations when their clients’ human rights have been drastically violated by illegal use of instruments and mechanisms of international and regional police organisations, be it at a national or even international level. 

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Game-Changer for Security Tokens?

The “DLT Pilot Regime Regulation” comes into force on 23 March 2023 and is part of a comprehensive EU-level package of measures aimed at promoting the potential of digital finance while mitigating possible risks. The aim is to enable facilitated trading of tokenised securities (security tokens) on regulated markets in the EU. 

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ECJ ruling: ÖBB not liable after damage event

LGP has represented the companies of the ÖBB Group for almost 20 years. In a pending case, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) was most recently called upon to provide a reference for a preliminary ruling. The landmark ECJ ruling in international rail transport was published in July 2022. 

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Changes to the Employment of Foreign Nationals Act as of 1 October 2022

The legislator has reacted to the current labour market situation and the lack of skilled workers in shortage occupations by facilitating foreigners’ access to the labour market. This should further strengthen Austria’s position as an attractive destination for highly qualified workers from non-Member States. 

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Smart contracts from a legal perspective

Smart contracts have become indispensable for issuing tokens, planning innovative projects and simple legal transactions involving blockchain technology. They are used as a central tool for processing a wide range of contracts in the blockchain and have become popular because they can be executed automatically. 

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New framework for vertical agreements

As a result of an increase in online sales, many companies often do not know whether their supply and distribution agreements comply with EU competition rules. Below is an overview of current innovations that came into force on 1 June 2022 in the wake of the Vertical Block Exemption Regulation.

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Exit taxation of crypto assets

The eco-social tax reform has led to far-reaching tightening of the taxation of income from cryptocurrencies. Moving crypto investments abroad to escape taxation seems to be a favourable approach only at first glance. Since the amendments to the Income Tax Act came into force on 1 March 2022, even such efforts are in vain. 

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EPG versus the Marriage Act – How faithful do you have to be?

In 2010, the Registered Partnership Act (EPG) offered same-sex couples in Austria the opportunity to register their partnership at the district administrative authorities for the first time. Since then, opposite-sex couples have been allowed to “register partnerships” and same-sex persons to marry. However, the mutual duty of fidelity and avoiding harm caused by indiscretions with third parties does not seem to be entirely clear to all parties. The Supreme Court has therefore provided further clarification. 

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LGP helps with the foundation of Vetklinikum

17 outpatient clinics, 10 wards, an intensive care unit, an operating centre, laboratories, and a state-of-the-art training centre for veterinarians: this forward-thinking veterinary hospital guarantees the best possible care for animal patients and was advised by LGP on corporate and labour law. 

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A win-win situation for sport and law

Manhattan Fitness Clubs and LGP have maintained a cooperation with benefits for both sides for many years: LGP provides the company with advice and support in all legal matters. In return, LGP employees are offered the opportunity of balancing out their demanding office routine with some training and exercise. 

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