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Government prepares transfer of EU structural funds

Slovakia wants to initiate talks with Brussels to discuss an option to transfer financial resources within the European Union’s structural funds allocated for the country in the 2007-13 budgetary period, as well as the possibility to make the approach to the funds more flexible, Prime Minister Robert Fico told the media on April 13.

Slovakia wants to initiate talks with Brussels to discuss an option to transfer financial resources within the European Union’s structural funds allocated for the country in the 2007-13 budgetary period, as well as the possibility to make the approach to the funds more flexible, Prime Minister Robert Fico told the media on April 13.

“We want to submit to the European Commission various proposals over not only how to speed up the [EU] funds drawing process, but also how to transfer the resources within [the allocated package], so we will be able to concentrate on projects where we can still draw [the funding], and, conversely, to avoid the projects for which it will be basically impossible to draw any resources, since even public procurements have not been launched in these cases yet,” Fico said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The informal governmental session held during the weekend focused on a status audit vis-à-vis the drawing of EU structural funds and possible risks faced during the process of drawing resources within individual EU operational programmes.

Fico said that, for example, the Education and Labour Ministries discussed the possibility of the transfer of about €40 million from the money originally planned to be allocated for the education sector to the education of the unemployed and a programme aimed at youth education overseen by the Labour Ministry.

The PM noted that €250-€600 million might be lost this year if the country fails to use the allocated money, especially in the Operational Programme for Informatisation of Society, Environment, Transport, Education, and Research and Development. Nonetheless, Deputy Prime Minister for Investments Ľubomír Vážny said that the government has found a way to proceed in order to save the resources.

“We have opened the problematic operational programmes, identified their weak points and created scope for such recipients that would ... contribute to the acceleration of the drawing of the funds under the current conditions and rules,” Vážny said, as quoted by TASR.

Based on an agreement reached with officials in Brussels, Slovakia needs to draw up and present to the EC a report identifying risky spheres in which the drawing of EU funds must be accelerated and proposing suggestions on how to achieve this. The complete list of Slovakia’s proposals should be presented at a ministerial session on April 16, TASR wrote.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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