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Legislative and Policy Update

MARCH 2019



PROCUREMENT: The innovative IT Project "Public Procurement System" (SVO), which is to significantly contribute to the reform of public procurement in Slovakia, got an unanimous approval from the 16-member steering committee for the priority axis 7 Information Society within the Operational Program Integrated Infrastructure (OPII).

01/03/2019, SITA

ECONOMY: The Slovak Republic has occupied up to 65th place among 180 countries in the economic freedom assessment according to the US Heritage Foundation. In the ranking, Slovakia placed behind all its neighbours, when Czech Republic ranked 23rd, Austria 31st, Poland 46th, and Hungary 64th.

05/03/2019, SITA

SURVEY: More than a half of the Slovaks (54 percent) living abroad did not rule out their return to Slovakia. The change in the political culture would be the main reason for their return, followed by an interesting job offer, showed the poll conducted by Slovak Professionals Abroad Program powered by Leaf.

08/03/2019, SITA

ECONOMY: Women in Slovakia, according to Slovenska sporitelna, have a worse position in society than other women in Europe regarding position on the labour market, pays, family care or starting own business. In the EU, women have salaries 21% lower on average than men, across all sectors.

11/03/2019, SITA

PROCUREMENT: Obstacles in public procurement are progressively being removed owing to the Public Procurement Office, believes President Andrej Kiska. According to him, society sees a significant improvement in this process. The head of state discussed main activities of UVO and recently approved changes to the public procurement process with the UVO management.

12/03/2019, SITA

JUDICIARY: Slovakia is still on the EU tail in terms of independent judiciary, the European Commission writes in its report on Slovakia. According to the EC, the problems related to effectiveness, independence and quality of judiciary prevail. The ministry is dealing with this problem via the questionnaires sent out to people who are in touch with the courts.

13/03/2019, SITA

ECONOMY: Only one-third of companies in Slovakia are innovating. This stems from the latest data of the European Statistical Office Eurostat, published by Slovenská sporiteľňa. Around half of European firms across the EU28 have come up with more efficient production models. Slovakia is considerably lagging behind in this respect.

20/03/2019, SITA

LABOR: Nearly 70,000 foreigners worked in Slovakia at the end of February. Compared to February 2018, the number of citizens of other countries working in Slovakia increased by 19,000, while the month-on-month increase was by 632 foreigners. About half of the foreigners are citizens of the European Union (EU) and the other half are citizens of non-EU countries.

25/03/2019, SITA

GDP: The National Bank of Slovakia (NBS) has moderated its GDP growth outlook for this year. In the updated forecast, the central bank reduced the estimate of the country’s economic growth for this year by 0.7 percentage point to 3.5%. Subsequently, Slovakia's economic growth should slow to 3.4% in 2020, a revision of 0.6 percentage point. For 2021, the central bank lowered its growth estimate by 0.2 point to 2.8%.

27/03/2019, SITA

IT: The administration of information technologies in public administration will be modified to ensure uniform coverage of all areas of its management and control. Parliament approved a draft bill on information technologies in public administration.

28/03/2019, SITA

ALLOWANCE: The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is considering reintroducing a higher amount of parental allowance for parents who have worked before taking parental leave. It is not clear yet whether the parental allowance would be increased, or the parental leave would be extended.

28/03/2019, SITA

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS: Zuzana Čaputová won the run-off round of the presidential election with more than 58.2 percent of the vote, compared to Maroš Šefčovič's 41.8 percent (after more than 94 percent of the votes have been counted). The election turnout was expected to be record low (41.8%) for the presidential election.

31/03/2019, The Slovak Spectator

ENERGY: In early March, the European Union’s 28 energy ministers had their first public debate on the European Commission’s 2050 climate plan. Five member states derided the lack of a 100% renewable energy scenario among the EU executive’s proposed options.

05/03/2019, Euractiv

TRADE: The Council of the EU approved a new framework to screen foreign direct investments coming into the European Union, thus concluding the legislative process on this proposal. The new framework will help safeguarding Europe's security, public order and strategic interests when it comes to foreign investments into the Union. 

05/03/2019, European Commission

CYBER-SECURITY: High-level officials at the European Commission and the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei sought to build bridges, as Vice President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip sat down with Huawei rotating chairman Ken Hu in an encounter described as “conciliatory” by a Huawei spokesperson.

05/03/2019, Euractiv

TRADE: The European Parliament failed to pass a resolution supporting the start of negotiations with the US on removing tariffs for industrial goods, worsening the prospects of de-escalating trade tensions between Brussels and Washington.

14/03/2019, Euractiv

TAXES: EU finance ministers approved the addition of 10 more countries to the EU’s blacklist of tax havens, which currently includes only five jurisdictions and aims to help prevent tax fraud or evasion. “The purpose of the list is to encourage cooperation and positive change and not to name and shame,” said Eugen Teodorovici, minister of public finance of Romania.

19/03/2019, Euractiv

SOCIAL SECURITY: The provisional agreement reached by the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission revises the European rules on social security coordination to ensure that they remain fair, clear and easier to enforce. This agreement updates and safeguards the rights of citizens moving to another EU country and facilitates the cooperation between national authorities.

19/03/2019, European Commission

TAXES: The Commission welcomed the political agreement reached by the European Parliament and Member States on the core elements of the reform of the European supervision in the areas of EU financial markets including when it comes to anti-money laundering. This is an important step to achieve the Capital Markets Union's objective to ensure stronger, safer and more integrated financial markets to the benefit of European consumers, investors and businesses. 

21/03/2019, European Commission

EU-CHINA: French President Emmanuel Macron, German chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a bid to forge a united front in European efforts to rebalance relations with Beijing.

22/03/2019, Euractiv

EU MARKET: The next European Commission will propose strengthening tobacco regulations, based on a report showing how the Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) works in practice, the EU Commissioner responsible for health, Vytenis Andriukaitis, told in an interview.

25/03/2019, Euractiv

ENERGY: New rules making the EU's electricity market fit for the future and putting the consumer at the centre of the energy were signed by the European Parliament - an important step in enabling the European Union and its Member States to embrace the clean energy transition, follow up on the already adopted 2030 climate legislation and meet the Paris Agreement commitments.

26/03/2019, European Commission

EU-US: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) Appellate Body's ruling vindicated the EU's long held position that the United States took no steps to comply with organisation's rules in respect to support to Boeing. The ruling confirms that the United States has failed to remove the massive and trade-distorting subsidies granted to the aircraft manufacturer and dismissed all of the US appeal points. 

29/03/2019, European Commission

TAXES: The European Parliament approved a report during its plenary session requesting EU institutions and member states to adopt measures against money laundering, fiscal fraud and tax evasion, EURACTIV’s media partner Euroefe reports. The report is non-binding but hopes to establish a “roadmap” for the new Parliament and the future EU Commission to make fiscal justice a political priority and intensify the work during this legislative period.

29/03/2019, Euractiv


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