Europe 2020 in Slovakia

The Country-specific Recommendations are documents prepared by the European Commission for each country, analysing its economic situation and providing recommendations on measures it should adopt over the coming 18 months. They are tailored to the particular issues the Member State is facing and cover a broad range of topics: the state of public finances, reforms of pension systems, measures to create jobs and to fight unemployment, education and innovation challenges, etc. The final adoption of Country-specific Recommendations prepared by the Commission is done at the highest level by national leaders in the European Council.

Country overview

Slovakia is at a crossroads. For well over a decade, its growth rates were amongst the highest in the EU and it experienced one of the speediest recoveries from the financial crisis. But with real GDP growth rate expected to remain below the pre-crisis levels and persistently high unemployment, it must strengthen domestic production and diversify sources of growth, whilst building on progress made in terms of structural reforms and public finances.

In the last year, Slovakia has made progress on fiscal and structural policies. The budget deficit is on a downward path after the adoption of a sizeable consolidation package. There was a major pension reform to increase the statutory retirement age in line with life expectancy. An action plan to combat tax fraud was also adopted. Reforms to boost employment and growth have been launched but remain at an initial stage, particularly those that tackle public administration reform, vocational education and public employment services.

Despite the progress made, more needs to be done in the medium to long term to bolster growth potential and ensure that public finances are sustainably managed. Further progress is needed on labour market, energy and public administration. The efficient use of EU structural funds will be crucial in financing key reforms to increase growth potential in many areas.

2013 European Commission's recommendations for Slovakia in brief

The Commission has issued six country specific recommendations (CSRs) to Slovakia to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of:

  1. Sustainable public finances
    Slovakia made progress in consolidating its public finance and implementing the 2013 budget as planned. Slovakia also needs to ensure that the deficit correction will be sustainable after 2013. As regards long term sustainability, the progress made on improving pension sustainability in 2012 will need to be followed up and complemented with healthcare reform to bring public finances onto a sustainable footing.
  2. Efficiency of taxation
    Slovakia has room for higher tax revenue, mainly by limiting the scope for tax fraud and tax evasion and by making greater use of taxes that are less detrimental to growth, for example property taxation.
  3. Labour market
    Unemployment remains one of the main challenges for the Slovak economy as Slovakia is among Member States with highest youth and long-term unemployment rates in the EU. While the recent reform of active labour market policies is an important step in the right direction, additional reform efforts in this area are needed.
  4. Education
    Slovakia has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the EU. In spite of reforms in 2012 there is scope to further improve the quality and labour-market relevance of education. Slovakia also needs to improve educational outcomes of children from marginalised communities.
  5. Energy
    Slovakia could improve its competitiveness by reforming its energy sector and by increasing energy efficiency. Slovakia is very energy intensive, with a high share of industry in the economy. At the same time, small and medium sized industrial customers pay rather high electricity prices.
  6. Quality of public administration
    Slovakia launched an important reform of its public administration, but the efforts need to go further and should also address the overall quality and effectiveness of the central administration. In addition Slovakia needs to improve the efficiency of the judicial system.

See how Slovakia compares with other EU Member States in key areas

European Semester Documents