The country-specific recommendations are documents prepared by the European Commission for each Member State, which analyse its economic situation and provide tailored policy advice on measures that it should adopt over the coming 18 months. They cover the particular challenges that the Member State is facing in a broad range of areas: the state of public finances, reforms of pension systems, measures to create jobs and to fight unemployment, education and innovation challenges, efficiency of the public administration, competition etc. The final adoption of country-specific recommendations prepared by the Commission takes place at the highest level by national leaders in the European Council.
The Slovak economy, which saw one of the speediest recoveries from the financial crisis, faces the challenge of strengthening its domestic production base and diversifying its sources of growth, while consolidating progress made so far in terms of structural reforms and public finances. After a slowdown in 2013, economic activity in Slovakia is set to pick up in 2014. Nevertheless, labour market conditions are expected to improve only modestly.
Further measures are needed in order to improve Slovakia's growth potential and reforms in areas such as employment, education, business environment and innovation, energy and public administration need to be stepped up. While the general government deficit reached 2.8% of GDP in 2013 and is expected to remain below 3% of GDP also in the coming years, the correction of the excessive deficit remains subject to risks. In addition, while the Government plans adhere to growth-friendly spending, provided data do not seem to fully support this aim. See how Slovakia compares with other EU Member States in key areas.
2014 European Commission's recommendations in brief
The Commission has issued six country-specific recommendations to Slovakia to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of: public finances; taxation; labour market; education and training; network industries, business environment and efficiency of the public administration.