It was going to be a summer of reforms, PM Igor Matovič broadcast before it started. He envisioned conferences gathering experts to talk about reforms that Slovakia would submit to the EU, taking place in July and August. The changes were to be financed from the Next Generation EU recovery fund, which will grant Slovakia €7.5 billion.
Instead of large debates, analysts from the ministerial think tank Institute for Financial Policy, the Value for Money unit and other experts discussed the possible reforms behind closed doors. They came up with a 97-page national reform plan called Slovakia 2.0.
The Index business magazine has the draft plan at its disposal. More than anything else it is a comprehensive analysis of what the European Commission reproached Slovakia for in the past and what Slovakia considers the areas that need to be fundamentally improved.
The whole document, officially submitted by Finance Ministry led by Eduard Heger, is divided into eight sections. It is spiked with data, easy-to-implement proposals and visions.
The Coalition Council should now pick priorities from the plan, which they will sum up in a smaller document called the Renewal Plan. That is what Slovakia will send to Brussels. This contrasts with the previous statements of PM Igor Matovič in mid-August, that once the reforms are ready, there will be a public discussion about the draft plan.
The problem is that the European Commission has changed its strategy over the summer and will not require just roughly outlined reforms to be paid once the respective milestones are reached. Instead, they want a list of investment projects focused on green economy and digitalisation. These are yet to be defined.
The document the coalition partners have received and whose low profile they are keeping for now, lists health care, education, and availability of housing as the main challenges for quality of life in Slovakia. These are the areas where Slovakia belongs among the three lowest-ranking out of European countries that are OECD members.
Index has summed up the contents of the document the Renewal Plan will be based on, what problems experts have identified, and what reforms they have drafted.
16. Sep 2020 at 12:44 | Jozef Tvardzík