With the current EU budgeting period ending next year, the priorities of the upcoming budgeting period define EU’s trajectory for the near future. In this context, the 2019 edition of European Commission’s Country Report on Slovakia is of crucial importance as it points out areas where Slovakia lags behind as well as the potential overlaps with the budget’s priorities. Lívia Vašáková, Head of Economic Analyses Section at the European Commission Representation, told us more about the report and its implications.
What are the main findings of the report?
Slovakia’s economic performance has been impressive in recent years. Following the 2008-2009 crisis the economy has seen a solid recovery with growth rates above 3 percent thus above those of many of its EU counterparts. Moreover, it has been a job-rich recovery. The unemployment rate in Slovakia is now at a historical low; the labor market is as dynamic as ever and swift wage increases have supported household income and reduced poverty. The challenge is to ensure that growth remains strong in the medium and long term and that economic convergence picks up pace. The positive economic momentum offers the opportunity to make further progress in the structural reforms agenda. Slovakia is lagging behind in most EU comparisons in features that would be crucial for future growth such as quality of institutions; preparedness of an individual for changes (education, R&D, innovation); smoothening regional differences and quality of environment. At the same time, it also faces other challenges such as ageing, automation, robotization and digitalization.