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More time for European funds

BRUSSELS may give Slovakia an additional year to draw from EU funds within the current 2007-2013 programming period. The European Commission proposed to extend Slovakia’s deadline by one year for spending a portion of EU funds that were originally supposed to be drawn by the end of 2013, the SITA newswire reported.

BRUSSELS may give Slovakia an additional year to draw from EU funds within the current 2007-2013 programming period. The European Commission proposed to extend Slovakia’s deadline by one year for spending a portion of EU funds that were originally supposed to be drawn by the end of 2013, the SITA newswire reported.

This measure should also apply to the commitment for 2012, Prime Minister Robert Fico said, as reported by SITA, adding that the deadline should also move by one year for the drawing of resources that originally should have run out by 2014.

In addition to Slovakia, the proposed extension should also apply to Romania. However, the change still requires approval by the Council of Foreign Ministers and also the European Parliament.

The Slovak government has developed an initiative toward this end since there is a chance it may not be able to draw €300 million in EU funds within the given time frame, said Fico, who discussed this topic ahead of a summit of leaders of EU countries at a bilateral meeting with EC President José Manuel Barroso.

“I am very glad there was an open dialogue on this issue,” said Fico after the meeting, as quoted by SITA, adding that Slovakia will certainly be looking at the attitude of net payers into the EU budget in the EP.

“Perhaps we will see the attitudes of countries that would like to arrange something for themselves,” Fico said. “However, we rely on the conclusions of the European Council, where it was explicitly stated that together with Romania and Slovakia, the Commission should seek ways to avoid EU funds remaining unused in 2013.”

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