SLOVAKIA could indeed face suspension from drawing European Union funds, but it is premature to discuss the matter at this point, Deputy Prime Minister for Investments Ľubomír Vážny said on Slovak Radio’s political talk show on April 12.
Speaking in reference to areas in Slovakia’s drawing of EU funding that the European Commission (EC) has reportedly identified as problematic, Vážny said that “in essence, they are: inefficient pricing, selection procedures and public procurement itself”, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
The Hospodárske Noviny daily reported earlier in April that an audit of Slovakia’s drawing and spending of EU funds found shortcomings in almost all operational programmes. The errors concerned insufficient checks and discriminatory terms in tenders. As a result, Slovakia may reportedly see its payments from EU funds suspended.
“Slovakia has two months to respond now,” said Vážny, as quoted by TASR. He went on to deflect any blame for the issue, saying that the audit concerns spending in 2012, for which procurements took place one or two years before that.
As for the reasons for the errors and insufficient drawing of EU funding in general, he said that this is especially due to political processes when new governments replace the old ones. Red tape is also to blame, he said, but stressed that notable advances have been made in the drawing of EU funding in general.
21. Apr 2014 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff