A struggle for billions from the EU starts in the coalition

Slovakia has only been able to absorb a fraction of the money it is now about to receive from the recovery fund. Ministries disagree about who should be in charge.

PM Igor MatovičPM Igor Matovič (Source: AP/TASR)

Just hours after the European Council passed the recovery fund in Brussels, a power struggle kicked off in the ruling coalition in Slovakia. It concerns which ministry will decide on what the €7.5 billion assigned to Slovakia from the Next Generation EU fund will be spent.

"We will debate the management system at the coalition council," Minister Veronika Remišová of Za Ľudí said.

Related articleEU deal on recovery fund: Great news for Slovakia, says PM Matovič Read more 

Her newly-established ministry deals with drawing regular EU funds, and Sme has information that Remišová also wants to control the drawing of the new recovery fund. Yet the coalition partner Sme Rodina does not agree.

The longer the conflict about which party and which ministry should manage the spending of the billions of euros, the higher the chance that Slovakia will only draw a fraction of what it has been assigned.

Slovakia will only have three years, from 2021 to 2023, from the moment the system is set, to approve the projects, carry them out, and pay for them.

Slovakia has been absorbing EU funds since 2004, but the country has never been able to draw the money so fast.

"We need to submit our draft reform plan to the European Commission in October," PM Igor Matovič (OĽaNO) said.

Slovakia may lose time fighting for billions

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