OVER Sk500 million in money that Slovakia is eligible to draw from the European Union’s structural funds may be lost if the country does not manage to submit more viable projects by the end of October.
Ján Jasovský, the head of the Supreme Audit Bureau, says that Slovakia has so far drawn only Sk11 billion of the Sk44 billion it is eleigible for during the 2004 to 2006 period, and that while use of the money has increased, the country is unlikely to make full use of this sum by the deadline for spending it in 2008.
Sk500 million of that money, which was issued in 2004, must be used by the end of October.
MEP Sergej Kozlík said that no EU member succeeded in drawing all the money it was eligible for, with the most successful countries being Spain, Italy and Germany at 85-93 percent.
“There are enough projects [in Slovakia], but the conceptual and administrative side of things was not handled well,” said Kozlík.
Kozlík added that EU bureaucracy was also to blame for the low rate of use of the money on offer, while various Slovak government officials have said they are working to improve the state’s role in drawing EU funds.