Legislative and Policy Update: April 2017



SLOVAK REPUBLIC


EUROPEAN UNION

BUDGET: According to the Eurostat, the statistiacal Office of the European Union, Slovakia reduced the general government deficit below 1.7% of gross domestic product in the past year. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 25/04/2017)

 

EDUCATION: Comenius University in Bratislava placed 433rd in the Round University Ranking. It improved by 12 ranks from the last year. The Round University Ranking evaluates 20 indicators in four basic areas. Both education and research account for 40% of the score while international diversity and financial sustainability make up 10 % each. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 07/04/2017)

 

E-MAILBOXES: Over the first three months of 2017 the Central Contact Center of the National Agency for Networking and Electronic Services provided its services to almost 15,000 callers. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 06/04/2017)

 

E-MOBILITY: According to the Automotive Industry Association of the Slovak Republic 1,039 all-electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid vehicles were registered in Slovakia as of 2016. Although, the association points out that Slovakia lacks a complex legislative environment oriented on system solutions so that the fees on vehicles during their lifetime would motivate the market to modernize car fleets with low-emission vehicles. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 10/04/2017)

 

ENERGY: On April 19, 2017 the Cabinet approved the draft act amending Act no. 309/2009 Coll. on the Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources and Highly Efficient Cogeneration. The amendment transposes into the Slovak law the European directive regarding the quality of petrol and diesel fuels. The European directive should establish a methodology for calculating savings of emissions of greenhouse gases during the life cycle of motor fuels and requirements for submitting annual reports on achieved savings. Advanced biofuels should ensure high greenhouse gas emissions savings with a small risk of causing indirect changes to farmland use. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 19/04/2017)

 

ENERGY: On April 26, 2017 the Cabinet approved the Proposal for the Energy Efficiency Action Plan for 2017 - 2019 with a view to 2020. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 26/04/2017)

 

ENERGY: Slovakia has a number of objections to the draft Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on support for the use of energy from renewable energy sources (RES). The proposal is intended to determine measures for achieving the binding RES target at 27% of the final energy consumption at the EU level in 2030. The main change which Slovakia disagrees with is the replacement of national targets with a single European target. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 11/04/2017)

 

EU FUNDS: On April 11, 2017 the Cabinet approved the Analysis of the State and Determination of the Number of Administrative Capacities for European Structural and Investment Funds in the programming period 2014 - 2020. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 11/04/2017)

 

FINANCE: On April 26, 2017 the Cabinet approved the Report on the State and Development of the Financial Market for 2016. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 26/04/2017)

 

HEALTH CARE: According to the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic the eHealth system currently registers about 100 physicians as well as 15 hospitals and clinics. Already in 2017 the basic functionality of "electronic medical records" and "electronic prescription" will be available. The department has dropped the plan to introduce electronic health insurance cards and decided to use electronic personal identity cards instead. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 25/04/2017)

 

INVESTMENT: On April 5, 2017 the Cabinet approved the draft amendment to Act no. 566/2001 Coll. on Securities and Investment Services and the Securities Act. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 05/04/2017)

 

INVESTMENT: According to the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic Peugeot Citroen Automobiles Slovakia plans to expand its production. The automaker plans to invest nearly 100 million EUR in a new model product and open 420 new jobs. The company is asking for state investment stimuli worth 18.6 million EUR in the form of a tax relief. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 06/04/2017)

 

JUDICIARY: According to the 2017 EU Justice Scoreboard which assesses the quality and independence of judicial systems in the EU Member States, Slovakia ranks among the EU member states with the worst perception of judicial independence. The European Commission also noted that corruption remains one of the biggest obstacles to doing business in Slovakia. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 11/04/2017)

 

LABOR: On April 11, 2017 the Cabinet approved the informative Report on Searching and Tackling Undeclared Work and Illegal Employment for 2016. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 11/04/2017)

 

LABOR: The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Slovak Republic has to reform employment services and active labor market policy, in line with the action plan to the 2017 National Reform Program until the end of 2017. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 06/04/2017)

 

R&D: On April 19, 2017 the Cabinet approved the draft agreement between the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Government of the Republic of Belarus on Scientific and Technical Cooperation. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 19/04/2017)

 

R&D: According to the Prime Minister Robert Fico the government plans to increase the super-deduction of R&D costs from taxes to companies which invest in research and development. Companies can now deduct 25% of R&D costs from taxes and this rate should increase to 100%. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 05/04/2017)

 

R&D: According to the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic enterprises of the Bratislava County engaged also in research and development will be able to apply for support from EU funds. A total of 17 million EUR will support research, development, and innovation activities in enterprises and activities aimed at protecting intellectual property rights. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 18/04/2017)

 

REGIONS: On April 5, 2017 the Cabinet approved the Information on the Status of Support for the Least Developed Regions in Slovakia. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 05/04/2017)

 

REGIONS: On April 11, 2017 the Cabinet approved the Report on the Implementation of the Updated National Strategy for Regional Development of the Slovak Republic for 2015. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 11/04/2017)

 

REGULATION: On May 10, 2017 the parliamentary deputies moved to the third reading the amendment to the law on Regulation in Network Industries. According to the amendment the government proposes and appoints its chairperson, who will then choose two deputy chairpersons. For more information click here. (REF: www.nrsr.sk 05/04/2017)

 

SOCIAL: On April 19, 2017 the Cabinet approved the draft act to the Act which supplements Act no. 461/2003 Coll. on Social Insurance. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 19/04/2017)

 

SOCIAL: On April 19, 2017 the Cabinet approved the draft act amending Act no. 2/1991 Coll. on Collective Bargaining. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 19/04/2017)

 

SOCIAL: On March 22, 2017 President Andrej Kiska signed into the law an amendment to the law on Employment Services, which amends also the law on the Provision of Material Need Allowance. People who have been registered as jobseekers in the long run or have been inactive for long time will be more motivated to find work. 50% of income earned during the first year in the new job will be disregarded when assessing eligibility to material need benefits. For more information click here. (REF: www.nrsr.sk 22/03/2017)

 

STATE: On April 26, 2017 the Cabinet approved the Methodology and Institutional Framework of Public Strategy Creation. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 26/04/2017)

 

STATE: On April 26, 2017 the Cabinet approved the National Reform Program of the Slovak Republic 2017. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 26/04/2017)

 

STATE: On April 26, 2017 the Cabinet approved the Stability Program of the Slovak Republic for the years 2017 to 2020. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 26/04/2017)

 

STATE: On April 19, 2017 the Cabinet approved the Proposal to Supplement Rules of Selection, Governance and Remuneration of State Representatives in the Bodies of the State Owned Entities. Representatives of the state in the state-controlled companies will have new responsibilities. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 19/04/2017)

 

TAX: On April 26, 2017 the Cabinet approved the draft Action Plan to Combat Tax Fraud 2017 - 2018, which includes 21 measures that should help make the state’s fight against tax evasion more effective. The changes should include the process of merging companies, registering sales from cash registers, and monitoring the transport of goods. The government also plans to introduce new legislative tools to secure assets as well as forthcoming moves towards taxpayers, for example, in the control of excessive deductions, or in connection with indexation of the reliability of taxpayers. For more information click here. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 26/04/2017)

 

TAX: The tax wedge in Slovakia is the 13th highest in the OECD, representing 41.5%. The average tax wedge in the OECD dropped to 36% last year. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 12/04/2017)

 

UNEMPLOYMENT: According to the Central Office for Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic, the registered unemployment rate in Slovakia reached 8.04% at the end of March this year. Compared to February, it decreased by 0.35%. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 21/04/2017)

 

UNEMPLOYMENT: According to the Central Office for Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic last month the lowest registered unemployment rate in Slovakia was in the district of Piestany. On the contrary, registered unemployment rate at the end of last month exceeded 15% in thirteen districts across Slovakia. Of these districts, six are in Presov County, four in Kosice County and three in Banska Bystrica County. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 25/04/2017)

 

UNEMPLOYMENT: According to the Central Office for Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic as of March 2017, Labor Offices registered 59,000 people without a job for more than four years. Year-on-year it is a decline by 12,000 persons in the category of long-term unemployment. 23% of the total number of unemployed people has been without a job for more than four years. For more information click here. (REF: SITA Slovak AM 27/04/2017)


BUSINESS: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in the fourth quarter of 2016, the business investment rate was 23.5% in the euro area, compared with 22.0% in the previous quarter. The business profit share in the euro area was 41.0% in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with 40.7% in the third quarter of 2016. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/953)

 

EDUCATION: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the share of people aged 30 to 34 who have completed tertiary education continued to steadily increase in the European Union. From 23.6% in 2002 to 39.1% in 2016. The Europe 2020 strategy's target is that at least 40% of 30 - 34-year-olds in the EU should have completed tertiary education by 2020. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1107)

 

EMPLOYMENT: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in 2016 the employment rate of the population aged 20 to 64 in the European Union stood at 71.1%, up compared with both 2015 and its previous peak recorded in 2008. The Europe 2020 strategy target is to reach a total employment rate for people aged 20 to 64 of at least 75% in the EU by 2020. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1101)

 

ENVIRONMENT: On April 28, 2017 the European Commission adopted a guidance document on access to justice in the environmental matters which clarifies how individuals and associations can challenge decisions, acts and omissions by public authorities related to EU environmental law before national courts. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/1114)

 

EU: In the euro area, in real terms, household income per capita decreased by 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2016, after an increase of 0.2% in the previous quarter. Household real consumption per capita increased by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016, after an increase of 0.4% in the third quarter of 2016. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1161)

 

ENERGY: On April 26, 2017 the European Council and the European Parliament reached an agreement on the new security of gas supply regulation which aims at preventing gas supply crises. The new rules ensure a regionally coordinated and common approach to security of supply measures among EU Member States. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/766)

 

EU: On April 27, 2017 the European Commission welcomed the European Parliament vote to greenlight the Structural Reform Support Programme, a new EU programme to provide technical support to Member States as they carry out reforms that help economies to grow, strengthen competitiveness, encourage investment, offer job opportunities and a better standard of living. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/1122)

 

EU: The household saving rate in the euro area was 12.0% in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with 12.3% in the third quarter of 2016. The household investment rate in the euro area was 8.5% in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with 8.6% in the previous quarter. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/952)

 

ENVIRONMENT: On April 27, 2017 the European Commission adopted a new Action Plan to improve the protection of nature and biodiversity in the EU, for the benefit of its citizens and the economy. The plan consists of 15 actions to be carried out by 2019 to rapidly improve the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, which are the EU's flagship nature policies. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/1112)

 

ENVIRONMENT: On April 27, 2017 the European Commission published the Urban Water Atlas for Europe.The publication shows how different water management choices, as well as other factors such as waste management, climate change and even our food preferences, affect the long-term sustainability of water use in our cities. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/1110)

 

EU: On April 27, 2017 the European Parliament adopted the decision establishing 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage. 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage will be an opportunity to highlight the role of Europe's cultural heritage in fostering a shared sense of history and identity. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/1111)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in February 2017 compared with January 2017, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 6.9% in the euro area and by 4.4% in the EU28. In January 2017, production in construction fell by 2.4% in the euro area and by 1.5% in the EU28. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1041)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in the fourth quarter of 2016, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 1.4% in the euro area, a decrease compared with 1.6% in the third quarter of 2016. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio also stood at 1.4%, a decrease compared with 1.7% in the previous quarter. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1102)

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in February 2017 compared with January 2017, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU28. In January 2017 industrial production rose by 0.3% in both zones. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/925)

 

GDP: 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 90.3% at the end of 2015 to 89.2% at the end of 2016, and in the EU28 from 84.9% to 83.5%. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1082)

 

HEALTH: The Euroepan Commission welcomes the adoption of its proposal for two Regulations on medical devices which establish a modernised and more robust EU legislative framework to ensure better protection of public health and patient safety. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/847)

 

INFLATION: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, euro area annual inflation was 1.5% in March 2017, down from 2.0% in February. In March 2016 the rate was 0.0%. European Union annual inflation was 1.6% in March 2017, down from 2.0% in February. A year earlier the rate was 0.0%. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1021)

 

JUSTICE: On April 10, 2017 the European Commission published the 2017 EU Justice Scoreboard which gives a comparative overview of the efficiency, quality and independence of justice systems in the EU Member States. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/890)

 

LABOR: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in 2016, average hourly labour costs were estimated to be 25.4 EUR in the European Union and 29.8 EUR in the euro area. However, this average masks significant gaps between EU Member States, with the lowest hourly labour costs recorded in Bulgaria (€4.4), Romania (€5.5), Lithuania (€7.3), Latvia (€7.5), Hungary (€8.3) and Poland (€8.6), and the highest in Denmark (€42.0), Belgium (€39.2), Sweden (€38.0), Luxembourg (€36.6) and France (€35.6). For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/892)

 

REAL ESTATE: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, house prices, as measured by the House Price Index, rose by 4.1% in the euro area and by 4.7% in the EU in the fourth quarter of 2016 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/901)

 

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT: On April 11, 2017 the Euroepan Commission published a report on EU regions which are lagging behind in terms of growth or wealth. The European Commission identifies clear paths to support regional growth strategies, with the help of EU funds. The report assesses what supports or hinders the competitiveness of these regions and why they have not yet reached the expected levels of growth and income for the EU. More importantly, the report identifies the investment needs of the regions, namely human capital, innovation, quality of institutions, better accessibility, as well as the tools available within the framework of EU Cohesion Policy that could support them in their future. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/893)

 

SOCIAL: On April 26, 2017 the European Commission delivered on its promise to adopt its proposal for the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Pillar sets out 20 key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. The Pillar is designed as a compass for a renewed process of upward convergence towards better working and living conditions in Europe. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/1007)

 

TOURISM: On April 12, 2017 the European Commission allocated almost 50 million EUR from the European Regional Development Fund to the continuation of the renovation and preservation works on the iconic Italian archaeological site. After the completion of the restoration works co-financed by the EU Cohesion Policy, the Ancient Roman city of Pompeii, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is expected to welcome almost 200 000 additional tourists per year. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/921)

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TRADE: On April 18, 2017 a new system of electronic certification to better monitor imports of organic products became applicable, making the EU a global leader in traceability and in the collection of reliable data on trade of these products. This pioneering e-certification system will contribute to enhancing food safety provisions and reducing potential fraud. It will also reduce the administrative burden for operators and authorities, and provide much more comprehensive statistical data on organic imports. For more information click here. (REF: IP/17/963)

 

TRADE: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, the first estimate for euro area exports of goods to the rest of the world in February 2017 was 170.3 billion EUR, an increase of 4% compared with February 2016. Imports from the rest of the world stood at 152.6 billion EUR, a rise of 5% compared with February 2016. As a result, the euro area recorded a 17.8 billion EUR surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in February 2017, compared with +18.2 billion EUR in February 2016. Intra-euro area trade rose to 149.1 billion EUR in February 2017, up by 5% compared with February 2016. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1009)

 

TRADE: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in February 2017 compared with January 2017, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade rose by 0.7% in both the euro area and the EU28. In January the retail trade volume increased by 0.1% in the euro area and by 0.2% in the EU28. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/850)

 

TRADE: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in February 2017, compared with January 2017, industrial producer prices remained stable in the euro area, while they rose by 0.1% in the EU28. In January 2017 prices increased by 1.1% in both zones. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/842)

 

UNEMPLOYMENT: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, unemployment rate in the EU regions ranged from 2.1% to 31.3% and unemployment rates fell in 8 out of 10 EU regions. However, regional unemployment rates continued to vary widely across the EU regions, with the lowest rates recorded in Niederbayern (2.1%) in Germany and Praha (2.2%) in the Czech Republic. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/1121)

 

UNEMPLOYMENT: The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.5% in February 2017, down from 9.6% in January 2017 and from 10.3% in February 2016. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since May 2009. The EU28 unemployment rate was 8.0% in February 2017, down from 8.1% in January 2017 and from 8.9% in February 2016. This remains the lowest rate recorded in the EU28 since January 2009. For more information click here. (REF: STAT/17/841)



 
 
 

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