Government should invite the public and take EU demands in consideration when preparing recovery plan

Non-governmental organisations have sent a letter with requests to the government.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: Sme - Vladimír Šimíček)

Several non-governmental organisations have addressed the representatives of the government with five requests linked to the completion of the Recovery and Resilience Plan of Slovakia. They want the government to secure a high quality, transparent process of engaging the public, meet clearly defined EU demands to protect the climate and environment, and secure sufficient interdepartmental coordination.

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They also consider it important to build sufficient capacities for the effective and reasonable use of money, and invite NGOs as partners for implementing measures.

“The Recovery and Resilience Plan, through which Slovakia should redistribute about €6 billion in the coming years, is one of the most important sources of public finances to secure the restoration and resilience of Slovakia from future crises,” the NGOs wrote in the letter. “Our society is already witnessing the consequences of medical, economic and climate crisis, which will only worsen without reform solutions. The financial sources also represent a unique opportunity to kick off reforms that will be sustainable for both people and the environment.”

Related article The Finance Ministry publishes its much-awaited reform plan Read more 

Engagement of the public important

A good process for preparing the plan is essential for its success, the NGOs stressed. They stress that it is necessary to clearly define and publish who is responsible for the preparation, who is involved, what is the time frame and how it will be assessed, also in regard with fulfilling EU goals.

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It should also be clear how the outcome of the discussions with the public will be processed.

The NGOs consider it essential to engage the public in order to secure the legitimacy and increase the quality of the plan.

They also mention EU requests, including the one to allocate at least 37 percent of financial resources to protect the climate and at least 20 percent to support digital investments and reforms. At the same time, 100 percent of funds should be allocated based on the “Do no harm principle.”

New council to be created

Related article Slovakia has a draft plan for spending billions from the EU recovery fund Read more 

They highlighted that the plan needs the interdepartmental coordination and the support of the prime minister, so that the ministries and coalition parties find common solutions. This is why they suggest creating the Government’s Council for the Recovery and Resilience Plan.

“Slovakia has long-term problems using EU funds in a transparent and meaningful way,” the NGOs wrote.

The finances allocated through the plan will require further planning, managerial and administrative capacities at both the national and regional level.

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