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Service sector most impacted by legislation in CEE

According to research on more than 1,000 passed bills in six Central and Eastern European countries, the most regulated industry is the service sector. Previously, the finance sector was the most regulated, says a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

The annual Grayling AcTrend Report scrutinized laws passed in six CEE countries - Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia - between August 1, 2016, and August 1, 2017. The report also provides an overview on the political environment and outlook on governments’ activities across the region.

The research found a moderate, 5.3% drop in the overall number of acts passed compared to last year, adding up to 1,040 acts passed in the six CEE markets over the course of the 12-month period. Similarly to previous years’ results, the most active countries in the region were once again Romania, with 280 acts passed, Poland with 220, and Hungary with 200.

Almost half (45%) of the approved acts (468 out of 1,040) had a direct impact on business, while more than one third affected the business sector in general (36%). As opposed to previous years, when the finance sector was among the most affected, in 2016-2017 the most acts approved by parliaments affected the service sector (14%), while finance fell back to fourth position (10.4%). The least impacted sectors were ICT and energy.

Across the CEE, 17.7% of approved acts with an impact on business were passed by an extraordinary procedure, slightly less than last year. Romania continues to use the extraordinary procedure most: 54.7% of its acts were approved using the Government’s Emergency Ordinance.

Hungary, where the governing parties have used this tool to push transformative reforms through Parliament, now tends to use the extraordinary procedure less, only for ad hoc political cases and to support domestic political campaigns, said Grayling.

The full Grayling AcTrend Report is available here.