Legislative and Policy Update: October 2017



SLOVAK REPUBLIC


EUROPEAN UNION

ACCOUNTING: On October 17, 2017, the Parliament approved an amendment on Accounting. For more information click here. (REF: www.nrsr.sk)

 

AIR: On October 17, 2017, the Parliament approved an amendment to the Clean Air Act, the main aim of which is to transpose the European Parliament’s and European Council’s Directive on limiting emissions of certain pollutants into the air from medium-sized combustion facilities. The amendment also addresses the transposition deficiencies concerning the European Directive on Ambient Air Quality and Cleaner Air for Europe and the Industrial Emissions Directive. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 18/10/2017/ www.nrsr.sk)

 

BUDGET: On October 11, 2017, the Cabinet approved the draft general government budget for the next three years as well as the draft state budget for the next year. The state budget deficit should be 1.973 billion EUR next year. Overall revenues are budgeted at 13.983 billion EUR and expenditures should reach 15.956 billion EUR. According to the proposal, the general government deficit in 2018 will fall below one percent of GDP for the first time. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 12/10/2017/ www.rokovania.sk)

 

COMMERCIAL CODE: On October 12, 2017, the Parliament approved the amendment to the Commercial Code prepared by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic. The regulation tackles dishonest mergers of companies; it places greater responsibility on authorized representatives and business partners and introduces effective tools against socalled strawmen or nominee directors. The amendment should come into force on January 1, 2018. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 13/10/2017/ www.nrsr.sk)

 

CUSTOMS: On October 11, 2017, the Parliament approved the amendment to the Customs Act. For more information click here. (REF: www.nrsr.sk)

 

DIRECTIVE: After discussions in the Euroepan Comission, posted workers should be paid like regular workers in the given country. The regulated period for posting workers will be changed to 12-18 months and states will have to secure equal treatment of workers of different nationalities and the application of collective agreements. EU member states will have four years to transpose the directive. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 25/10/2017)

 

ECONOMY: On October 30, 2017, the Mixed Slovak-Hungarian Commission met in Košice to sign a protocol, in which the signatories declared their interest in working towards the establishment of a V4 - Israel working group in research, development and innovation. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 31/10/2017)

 

ECONOMY: According to the International Monetary Fund outlook report, the Slovak economy should strengthen by 3.3% this year. Next year, the growth rate should accelerate to 3.7%. The IMF evaluates the inflation in Slovakia at 1.2% this year and it is expected to accelerate to 1.4% next year. According to IMF estimates, unemployment will reach 8.1% this year and will fall to 7.5 % in 2018. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 11/10/2017)

 

EDUCATION: On October 4, 2017, the Cabinet discussed the Annual Report on Higher Education for 2016 prepared by the Ministry of Education in the Slovak Republic. In the academic year 2016/2017, 147,680 students were studying at universities in Slovakia, out of which more than 87,000 were women. The number of university students fell in a year on year comparison by 11,000, which represents approximately a 7% decline. Compared to the previous year, the number of foreign students attending Slovak universities grew by 714. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 03/10/2017/ www.rokovania.sk)

 

EDUCATION: The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic, will distribute 529,000 EUR to schools for successful results of their students in national and international contests. They can spend the money on rewards for teachers who prepared the students or engaged in the preparation of an international project. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 31/10/2017)

 

EDUCATION: According to the 2017 list ranking by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), Comenius University in Bratislava, as the only representative from Slovakia, ranks among 2.4% of the world's top universities. In the CWUR World University Rankings it came in 658th among more than 27,000 rated universities. Harvard University in the U.S. has been ranked as the top university in the world for the sixth year in a row, followed by Stanford and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The University of Cambridge in the U.K. placed 4th and the University of Oxford followed in 5th place. CWUR measures the quality of student education and training as well as the quality of research independently of surveys and data provided by universities. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 17/10/2017)

 

EMPLOYMENT: According to the Statistics Office of the Slovak Republic, the employment in industry increased by 3.3% y/y in the eighth month of this year. Industry has experienced a continued y/y rise in employment since September 2013. In August, employment posted a y/y increase also in sale and repair of motor vehicles, restaurants, bars, catering, construction, accommodation services, retail sale, ICT, wholesale business, transportation and storage services, and in selected market services. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 25/10/2017)

 

EMPLOYMENT: On October 19, 2017, the Parliament approved the Act on Illegal Labor and Illegal Employment according to which the employer will be obliged to fulfill the registration obligation at the latest until the start of an inspection of illegal employment. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 20/10/2017/ www.nrsr.sk)

 

e-SIGNATURES: The state is temporarily suspending electronic government services that require using a secured electronic signature. The certification authority canceled the validity of the security certificate. The issuance of new certificates with a signature on electronic citizens' ID cards with a chip is on the table. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 24/10/2017)

 

EUROBAROMETER: According to the Eurobarometer survey conducted among 1,084 Slovaks between September 23 and October 2, 2017, half of Slovaks consider EU membership to be positive. They most appreciate new jobs and stronger economic growth. Only 39% believe their voice counts in the EU. Slovaks expressed greater worries about their security than about poverty and unemployment. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 23/10/2017)

 

FINANCE: On October 11, 2017, the Parliament approved the amendment to the Financial Intermediation and Financial Advice. For more information click here. (REF: www.nrsr.sk)

 

HEALTH CARE: On October 10, 2017, the Parliament moved changes to the emergency department network to the second reading. According to the draft amendment to the Health Care Act, emergency units will be divided into two types. Emergency departments of the first type will be a separate outpatient surgery with a doctor, screening staff and further paramedics, providing 24/7 service. Emergency departments of the second type will provide highly-specialized urgent medical treatment, with more specialists. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 20/10/2017/ www.nrsr.sk)

 

INDUSTRY: According to the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic, the confidence indicator in industry rose by 4.6 points since September to 8.3 points. Growth is anticipated mainly in manufacture of computers, electronic and optical devices, other non-metallic mineral products, and in chemical industry. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 31/10/2017)

 

IT: On October 26, 2017, Deputy Prime Minister for Investment and Informatization Peter Pellegrini and Mastercard Europe President Javier Perez signed a memorandum of cooperation. The memorandum should launch cooperation between the Slovak government and Mastercard in the field of technological innovation in the public sector, the development of so-called smart cities, and support in e-commerce or data protection and cyber security in relation to payments. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 27/10/2017)

 

QUALITY OF LIFE: According to the Social Progress Index which evaluates quality of life in 128 countries, Slovakia ranked in 30th position and improved by one position in comparison to last year. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 11/10/2017)

 

TAXES: On October 11, 2017, the Parliament approved an amendment to the Tax Administration Act. It should bring changes to the institute of tax confidentiality, measures against tax evasion, and the tax reliability index which aims to create an objective, independent, and legal rating of tax entities. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 12/10/2017/ www.nrsr.sk)

 

TRANSPORT: The European Union will invest more than 700 million EUR in development of transport in Slovakia. The money will come from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which the European Commission allocates directly to successful projects. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 27/10/2017)

 

UNEMPLOYMENT: According to the Central Office for Labor, Social Affairs, and Family of the Slovak Republic, the registered unemployment rate in Slovakia decreased by 0.12% since August to 6.42% at the end of September. Year-on-year, the unemployment rate was lower by 3% last month. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 23/10/2017)

 

WAGES: On October 11, 2017, the Cabinet approved the minimum wage in Slovakia which will increase from the current 435 EUR to 480 EUR from the beginning of next year. The lowest gross wage per each hour worked will rise to 2.759 EUR from the current 2.500 EUR. The net income of an employee working for the minimum wage will increase by 29.07 EUR to 403.18 EUR. For more information click here. (REF: SITA A.M. 12/10/2017/ www.rokovania.sk)


AVIATION: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in 2016, 972.7 million passengers travelled by air in the European Union, up by 5.9% compared with 2015 and by 29.1% compared with 2009. Over this period, air passenger transport has steadily risen in the EU. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/3863)

 

BANKS: On October 11, 2017, the European Commission published a Communication to ensure agreement on all the outstanding elements of the Banking Union. European citizens and businesses should benefit from deeper financial integration and a more stable financial system, with the completion of the missing parts of the Banking Union. The Banking Union must be completed if it is to deliver its full potential in making the Economic and Monetary Union more stable and resilient to shocks, while limiting the need for public risk sharing. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/3721)

 

BANKS: On October 25, 2017, the European Commission welcomed the political agreement to fast-track selected parts of the 2016 EU Banking Reform package, in a move that will further strengthen the resilience of the EU banking sector while mitigating negative impacts. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/4182)

 

DATA PROTECTION: On October 18, 2017, the European Commission published its first annual report on the functioning of the EU - U.S. Privacy Shield, the aim of which is to protect the personal data of anyone in the EU transferred to companies in the U.S. for commercial purposes. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/3966)

 

EDUCATION: On October 25, 2017, the European Commission increased the annual budget for Erasmus+, the European Union's program for mobility and cooperation in education, training, youth and sport. With its annual budget with an increase of 8% compared to 2017, Erasmus+ will provide an unprecedented number of opportunities for individuals and organizations in Europe and beyond. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/4082)

 

EDUCATION: On October 5, 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a European Framework for Quality and Effective Apprenticeships. This initiative is part of the New Skills Agenda for Europe, launched in June 2016. It also ties in with the European Pillar of Social Rights, which foresees a right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/3585)

 

EMPLOYMENT: On October 13, 2017, the European Commission published its yearly report on Labor Market and Wage Developments in Europe. EU employment has surpassed pre-crisis levels with more than 235 million people at work. Unemployment which now stands at 7.6% is also approaching levels from before the recession. On the other hand, more flexible working arrangements have brought advantages to both companies and individuals, but have led in some cases to a divide between workers holding different types of contracts, with people in temporary employment and self-employment being less well protected. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/3867)

 

EMPLOYMENT: On October 5, 2017, the Euroepan Commission reported on employment and social situation in the EU. While youth unemployment is still too high in the EU, the rate decreased steadily and faster than overall unemployment. It now stands at 16.9 %, reaching a level lower than in 2008. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/3664)

 

EMPLOYMENT: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Commission, the euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.9% in September 2017, down from 9.0% in August 2017 and from 9.9% in September 2016. This is the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since January 2009. The EU28 unemployment rate was 7.5% in September 2017, stable compared to August 2017 and down from 8.4% in September 2016. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since November 2008. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/4323)

 

EU: On October 24, 2017, the European Commission analyzed the reforms put in place to ensure that policy-making is priority-driven, evidence-based, transparent and effective and details the next steps to be taken. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/4004)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in the second quarter of 2017, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 1.2% in the euro area, an increase compared with 1.0% in the first quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 1.3%, an increase compared with 1.1% in the previous quarter. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/4127)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in 2016, the government deficit and debt of both the euro area and the EU28 decreased in relative terms compared with 2015. In the euro area the government deficit to GDP ratio fell from 2.1% in 2015 to 1.5% in 2016, and in the EU28 from 2.4% to 1.7%. In the euro area the government debt to GDP ratio declined from 89.9% at the end of 2015 to 88.9% at the end of 2016, and in the EU28 from 84.5% to 83.2%. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/4101)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, euro area annual inflation was 1.5% in September 2017, stable compared with August 2017. In September 2016 the rate was 0.4%. European Union annual inflation was 1.8% in September 2017, up from 1.7% in August 2017. A year earlier the rate was 0.4%. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/3981)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, house prices, as measured by the House Price Index, rose by 3.8% in the euro area and by 4.4% in the EU in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/3862)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the household saving rate in the euro area was 12.1% in the second quarter of 2017, compared with 12.0% in the first quarter of 2017. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/3723)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the EU28 seasonally adjusted current account of the balance of payments recorded a surplus of 41.9 billion EUR (1.1% of GDP) in the second quarter of 2017, down from a surplus of 49.4 billion EUR (1.3% of GDP) in the first quarter of 2017 and from a surplus of 58.6 billion EUR (1.6% of GDP) in the second quarter of 2016. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/3704)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Commission, the euro area annual inflation is expected to be 1.4% in October 2017, down from 1.5% in September 2017. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/4321)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Commission, in the euro area, in real terms, household income per capita increased by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2017, after an increase of 0.1% in the previous quarter. Household real consumption per capita increased by 0.6% in the second quarter of 2017, after an increase of 0.2% in the first quarter of 2017. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/4205)

 

EU-CUBA: On November 1, 2017, started a provisional application of the first ever agreement called the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Agreement between the European Union and Cuba. It comprises three main chapters on political dialogue, cooperation and sector policy dialogue as well as trade cooperation. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/4301)

 

EU FUNDS: On October 9, 2017, the European Commission published the seventh Cohesion report, taking the pulse of EU regions, drawing lessons from cohesion spending during the crisis years and setting the scene for Cohesion Policy after 2020. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/3644)

 

FINANCE: On October 4, 2017, The European Parliament and the European Council agreed to change the EU's anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legislation following on a proposal from the European Commission from November 2016. For more information click here. (REF: MEMO/17/3703)

 

GDP: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Commission, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.6% in both the euro area and in the EU28 during the third quarter of 2017, compared with the previous quarter. In the second quarter of 2017, GDP grew by 0.7% in both zones. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/4322)

 

HEALTH: On October 26, 2017, the European Commission presented a report to the European Parliament and the European Council, on progress made in children's medicines since the Paediatric Regulation came into force ten years ago. It concludes that positive advances in the development of medicines for children could not have been achieved without specific EU legislation as the authorization of 260 new medicines. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/4121)

 

INVESTMENT: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in the second quarter of 2017, the business investment rate was 23.2% in the euro area, compared with 22.9% in the previous quarter. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/3724)

 

R&D: On October 27, 2017, the European Commission announced how it plans to spend 30 billion EUR of the EU research and innovation funding program Horizon 2020 during 2018-2020, including 2.7 billion EUR to kick-start a European Innovation Council. Over the next three years, the European Commission will seek greater impact of its research funding by focusing on fewer, but critical topics such as migration, security, climate, clean energy and digital economy. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/4122)

 

TAX: On October 26, 2017, the European Commission launched a public consultation on how the EU can ensure that the digital economy is taxed in a fair and growth-friendly way. The current tax framework does not fit with modern realities. It was designed in a pre-computer age and cannot capture activities which are increasingly based on intangible assets and data. As a result, there is the risk of shrinking tax bases for Member States, competitive distortions for businesses and obstacles for innovative companies. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/4204)

 

TAX: On October 26, 2017, the European Commission opened an in-depth probe into a UK scheme that exempts certain transactions by multinational groups from the application of UK rules targeting tax avoidance. It will investigate if the scheme allows these multinationals to pay less UK tax, in breach of EU State aid rules. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/4201)

 

TAX: On October 10, 2017, the European Commission welcomed new rules to better resolve tax disputes. The decision taken by EU finance ministers at the ECOFIN Council meeting in Luxembourg will ensure that businesses and citizens can resolve disputes related to the interpretation of tax treaties more swiftly and effectively. It will also cover issues related to double taxation - a major obstacle for businesses, creating uncertainty, unnecessary costs and cash-flow problems. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/3727)

 

TAX: On October 4, 2017, the European Commission proposed a far-reaching reform of the EU VAT system. The reboot would improve and modernize the system for governments and businesses alike. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/3443)



 
 
 

Legislative and Policy Updates

Legislative and Policy Update_June 2017 (format: docx, size: 0.05 MB)
Legislative and Policy Update_April 2017 (format: doc, size: 0.29 MB)
   
 
 
 
 
Go to top