Commissioner Joaquín Almunia recently signed a Partnership Agreement with the Slovak Minister of Finance Ján Počiatek to allow a better coordination of their communication campaigns for a smooth changeover to the euro on 1 January 2009.
The Partnership Agreement entered into force on 7 December 2007. It provides
a framework for the coordination of communication activities between the
European Commission and the Slovak Republic with a view to ensuring a smooth
preparation for the euro changeover.
Although the signing of this agreement has no impact on whether or not Slovakia gets the green light to adopt the euro, a campaign to increase awareness about the single currency needs to start well in advance. The latest Flash Eurobarometer (September 2007) reveals that 43 % of the Slovak population want to be informed about the euro introduction as soon as possible. And although 55 % of Slovaks are already happy to embrace the euro as their national currency, it is important to maintain support as the date of possible euro adoption approaches, and the European Commission and the Slovak authorities have therefore decided to launch a preliminary information campaign already at this stage.
The national communication strategy on euro introduction in Slovakia was prepared jointly between officials of the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank of Slovakia with the help of the European Commission. On the basis of this strategy and the communication action plan activities which would be eligible for financial assistance were identified.
The European Commission intends to support the Slovak authorities with a grant, covering up to a maximum of 50% of the costs for the salaries of communication officers, a national euro helpline and a euro website and media campaigns, including specific information targeted at the Roma minority and schoolchildren. The Commission will also conduct its own communication activities in Slovakia, for example sending its own 'euro exhibition' to both Bratislava (January) and Košice (February). It will also organise a seminar for journalists in March 2008 and produce promotional material and publications for Slovak audiences.