Slovakia fails to catch up with regional peers and the EU

Slovakia has made little progress in addressing the Commission’s 2019 recommendations.

BratislavaBratislava (Source: SME)

Slovakia is losing its economic battle after a decade of strong post-crisis economic growth.

The European Commission (EC), which recently published a report assessing Slovakia’s progress on structural reforms and the prevention of macroeconomic imbalances, said the country did not fully make use of favourable economic times and has failed to sufficiently implement reforms, reduce its deficit and debt, and improve in areas key to economic growth, including R&D, education, and innovation.

Read alsoSlovak economy sped up at the end of 2019 Read more 

“Slovakia’s strategies and reforms are relatively clear and effective on paper, but their implementation often remains poor,” the report reads.

Moreover, Slovakia’s progress in catching up with the European Union and other countries in Central Europe has slowed down. The report suggests the labour productivity gap, the country’s sub-optimal use of available EU funds, and regional disparities have all contributed to a slowdown.

“We experienced the highest catch-up pace between 2003 and 2008, and then from 2012 we have essentially been stagnating,” Lívia Vašáková of the EC Office in Slovakia said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

A model based on low salaries and attracting direct foreign investment may stop working sooner or later. Policies will have to change, Vašáková claimed, to restart the Slovak economy. The country’s economic performance is lagging behind the EU average, remaining at about 75 percent of the EU’s gross national income.

Requirements for a good investment climate

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