Legislative and Policy Update: August 2018



SLOVAK REPUBLIC


EUROPEAN UNION

CIVIL CODE: On August 22, 2018, the Cabinet approved the draft amendment of the Civil Code Act. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 22/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

COPYRIGHT: On August 22, 2018, the Cabinet approved the draft amendment of the Copyright Act. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 22/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

CRIMINAL CODE: According to the draft amendment to the Criminal Code, bodies active in criminal proceeding would no longer be obliged to deal with anonymous motions. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 28/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

ECONOMY: According to the latest International Monetary Fund report on Slovakia, the Slovak economy will grow by 4% in 2018 and GDP growth will accelerate to 4.2% in 2019. According to IMF, the growth dynamics of the economy is currently supported mainly by new investments in the automotive industry. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 27/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

ECONOMY: According to the Standard&Poor's and Fitch Ratings, Slovakia affirmed an A+ rating with a stable outlook. According to the MF SR it is the result of a long-term and rapid economic growth, the stability of the banking sector, and sound fiscal policy. According to the reports, the economy of Slovakia is mainly driven by high household consumption, investments from European funds, growth of net exports and especially by new investments in the automotive industry. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 30/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

ECONOMY: According to the Statistics Office of the Slovak Republic, in the second quarter of 2018, the Slovak GDP grew by 4.1% year-on-year at constant prices. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 15/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

ECONOMY: From September 1, 2018, the law against red tape comes into force. The law against bureaucracy involves about 40,000 officials who will face a comprehensive change in obtaining abstracts from public registers. It will reduce the bureaucratic burden for citizens as well as for entrepreneurs. Various state authorities will no longer require abstracts of the commercial and trade registers or from the real estate register. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 31/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

EDUCATION: According to the State Institute of Vocational Education, more than 2,600 students joined the national project on dual education. The aim is to involve 12,000 students into the program by the end of 2020. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 23/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

EDUCATION: The new Act on Educational and Professional Employees which went through the interdepartmental review, brought several changes aimed at making the teacher's profession more attractive and transforming schools into modern open institutions. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 28/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

EDUCATION: According to Robert Redhammer, Rector of the Slovak University of Technology (STU), the interest in studying technology and computer science is growing. Students who want to continue studies at STU showed biggest interest specifically in computer science. Rectors and Deans together with businesses are still stressing the need to support IT study programs, mainly digitalization, automation, robotics, artificial intelligence or the internet of things. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 22/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

ENERGY: The European Union plans to become the green energy leader in 12 years. By 2030, renewables should have a 32% share in gross final energy consumption. The draft law plans to reduce the EU’s reliance on crude oil and gas imports, lower emissions costs, and protect the nature. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 13/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

ENERGY: On August 22, 2018, the Cabinet approved the amendment to the Act on Support of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and Highly Efficient Cogeneration (CHP). Based on the amendment, electricity produced from new RES and CHP should be supported only through auctions. The rights of existing manufacturers will be preserved but support for new devices will be limited. The new rules introduce an auction for new bigger installations with capacity of over 500 kilowatts, where the state chooses and supports a facility producing electricity from renewable sources. The final price will be the result of a competition. The priority of the amendment is to ensure cost-effectiveness with minimum impact on end-user prices of electric energy. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 22/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

INNOVATION: Six cities in Slovakia have expressed interest in implementing smart city solutions with the “I Want a Smart City” initiative. The initiative was announced at the end of May by Slovak technology companies as a platform to support the introduction of innovative solutions in the Slovak cities. The cities of Trnava, Trenčín, Banská Bystrica, Dolný Kubín, Prešov, and Hlohovec expressed their interest in using support to implement smart solutions that the initiative by ME SR offered to implement smart solutions. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 19/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

INVESTMENT: On July 11, 2018, the Cabinet approved state aid for seven investors amounting to 29.5 million EUR. The investment projects of Adient, EMI-Sabinov, Memolak, Brose Prievidza, Neuman Aluminum, Mubea, and Vigour are to open almost 1,300 new jobs. The companies should cumulatively invest more than 125 million EUR in Slovakia. Brose, which is the largest investor, plans to invest 57.4 million EUR in extending its factory in Prievidza, manufacturing components for the automotive industry. By the end of 2022, 350 new jobs should be created there, out of which about 100 in R&D. Mubea wants to build a new plant in the Kežmarok industrial park to produce automotive components. Its investment is planned to reach 51 million EUR. It expects to hire 500 people. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 06/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

REGIONS: On July 4, 2018, the Cabinet approved an action plan for the city of Bardejov, located in eastern Slovakia. Its aim is to lower the unemployment rate until 2022 by supporting the creation of 1,370 new jobs. The investment will consist of public funds as well as European Union structural funds. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 11/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

SLOVAKS: On July 11, 2018, the Cabinet discussed a comprehensive approach for returning Slovaks working abroad back to Slovakia. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 11/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

SOCIAL: On July 11, 2018, the Cabinet took into consideration the Report on the Social Situation of the Population of the Slovak Republic for 2017. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 11/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

SOCIAL: On July 11, 2018, the Cabinet took into consideration the Information on the Evaluation of the Implementation of the National Employment Strategy of the Slovak Republic until 2020 including a proposal for its update. (REF: www.rokovania.sk 11/07/2018). For more information click here.

 

SOCIAL: According to the Central Office for Labor, Social Affairs, and Family of the Slovak Republic, the number of foreigners working in Slovakia at the end of July 2018 exceeded 60,000. Compared to the end of June 2018, their number increased by 2,100, and compared to the end of July of 2017, the number of foreigners working in Slovakia grew by 16,900. Citizens of Serbia are the most numerous group of foreigners in the labor market in Slovakia, followed by citizens of Romania and Hungary. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 27/08/2018). For more information click here.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT: According to the Central Office for Labor, Social Affairs, and Family of the Slovak Republic, registered unemployment rate in Slovakia, calculated from the total number of jobseekers, including those on sick leave or graduate internship, reached 6.60%. (REF: Slovak a.m., SITA Slovenská tlačová agentúra a.s., 21/08/2018). For more information click here.



BREXIT: On July 19, 2018, the European Commission adopted a Communication outlining the ongoing work on the preparation for all outcomes of the UK's withdrawal from the EU. On March 30, 2019, the UK will leave the EU and become a third country. This will have repercussions for citizens, businesses, and administrations in both the UK and the EU. These repercussions range from new controls at the EU's outer border with the UK, to the validity of UK-issued licenses, certificates, and authorizations and to different rules for data transfers. (REF: IP/18/4545). For more information click here.

 

BUSINESS: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in the first quarter of 2018, the business investment rate was 23.1% in the euro area, compared with 22.9% in the previous quarter. (REF: STAT/18/4351). For more information click here.

 

CALL: The European Commission is calling on interested parties to put forward ideas for projects under the European Solidarity Corps. A total of 44 million EUR has been set aside from the EU budget for selected projects that will be open to all young people across Europe and beyond. (REF: IP/18/4839). For more information click here.

 

CAPITAL MARKETS UNION: On July 19, 2018, the European Commission issued guidance to help EU investors to invoke rights before national administrations and courts and to help Member States to protect the public interest in compliance with EU law. It aims to strengthen the business environment for EU investors. (REF: IP/18/4528). For more information click here.

 

CHINA-EU: On July 16, 2018, the 20th Summit between the European Union and the People's Republic of China took place and underlined that this partnership has reached a new level of importance for citizens, for respective neighboring regions, and for the international community. (REF: IP/18/4521). For more information click here.

 

CITIZENSHIP: On July 18, 2018, the College of Commissioners decided to register a European Citizens' Initiative entitled 'Permanent European Union Citizenship'. The main objective of the proposed initiative is to guarantee that European citizenship and its associated rights cannot be lost once they have been attained. The organizers cite in particular the context of Brexit and the future loss of EU citizenship and rights of UK citizens. (REF: IP/18/4566). For more information click here.

 

CITIZENSHIP: On July 18, 2018, the College of Commissioners decided to register a European Citizens' Initiative entitled 'Stop starvation for 8% of the European population'. The stated objectives of the proposed Citizens' Initiative include "to prompt governments to embrace the hunger problem" and to "emphasize the responsibility of governments to eradicate the problem." The organizers of the Initiative have set out a detailed list of actions where they call on the Commission to make legislative proposals. (REF: IP/18/4565). For more information click here.

 

CONSUMPTION: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in the euro area, in real terms, household income per capita increased by 0.1% in the first quarter of 2018, after an increase of 0.3% in the previous quarter. Household real consumption per capita increased by 0.3% in the first quarter of 2018, after an increase of 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017. (REF: STAT/18/4703). For more information click here.

 

DATA: On July 17, 2018, the EU and Japan successfully concluded discussions on the reciprocal adequacy and agreed to recognize each other's data protection systems as 'equivalent', which will allow data to flow safely between the EU and Japan. (REF: IP/18/4501). For more information click here.

 

DEFICIT: In the first quarter of 2018, the seasonally adjusted general government deficit to GDP ratio stood at 0.1% in the euro area, a decrease compared with 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017. In the EU28, the deficit to GDP ratio stood at 0.5%, a decrease compared with 0.6% in the previous quarter. (REF: STAT/18/4606). For more information click here.

 

ECONOMY: According to the Summer 2018 Interim Economic Forecast, growth is set to remain strong in 2018 and 2019, at 2.1% this year and 2% next year in both the EU and the euro area. However, after five consecutive quarters of vigorous expansion, the economic momentum moderated in the first half of 2018 and is now set to be 0.2 % lower in both the EU and the euro area than had been projected in the spring. (REF: IP/18/4402). For more information click here.

 

EMPLOYMENT: On July 13, 2018, the European Commission published the 2018 edition of its yearly Employment and Social Developments in Europe review and it confirms the ongoing positive labor market trends as well as an improving social situation. It also highlights challenges, in particular, linked to automation and digitalization. (REF: IP/18/4395). For more information click here.

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in June 2018 compared with May 2018, seasonally adjusted production in the construction sector increased by 0.2% in the euro area and by 0.6% in the EU28. In May 2018, production in construction grew by 0.3% in the euro area and by 1.2% in the EU28. (REF: STAT/18/5081). For more information click here.

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in June 2018 compared with May 2018, seasonally adjusted industrial production fell by 0.7% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU28. In May 2018, industrial production rose by 1.4% in the euro area and by 1.3% in the EU28. (REF: STAT/18/4989). For more information click here.

 

EU: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, in June 2018 compared with May 2018, the seasonally adjusted volume of retail trade increased by 0.3% in the euro area and remained stable in the EU28. In May, the retail trade volume increased by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.6% in the EU28. (REF: STAT/18/4821). For more information click here.

 

GDP: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.4% in both the euro area and the EU28 during the second quarter of 2018, compared with the previous quarter. In the first quarter of 2018, GDP had also grown by 0.4% both in the euro area and in the EU28. (REF: STAT/18/5001). For more information click here.

 

INFLATION: According to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, euro area annual inflation rate was 2.0% in June 2018, up from 1.9% in May 2018. A year earlier, the rate was 1.3%. European Union annual inflation was 2.0% in June 2018, stable compared with May 2018. A year earlier, the rate was 1.5%. (REF: STAT/18/4570). For more information click here.

 

POPULATION: On January 1, 2018, the population of the European Union was estimated at 512.6 million, compared with 511.5 million on January 1, 2017. During the year 2017, more deaths than births were recorded in the EU (5.3 million deaths and 5.1 million births), meaning that the natural change of the EU population was negative. The population change (positive, with 1.1 million more inhabitants) was therefore due to net migration. (REF: STAT/18/4443). For more information click here.

 

SECURITY: On July 5, 2018, the European Parliament gave its final agreement to establish the European Travel Information and Authorisation System and to strengthen the mandate of EU-LISA, the EU Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security, and justice. (REF: IP/18/4367). For more information click here.

 

STATE AID: On July 16, 2018, the European Commission adopted a new Best Practices Code for State Aid control. The Code provides guidance to the Commission, Member States, businesses, and other stakeholders on the day-to-day conduct of State aid procedures, to improve their effectiveness, transparency and predictability. (REF: IP/18/4544). For more information click here.

 

STEEL: On July 18, 2018, the European Commission announced provisional safeguard measures concerning imports of a number of steel products. These measures will address the diversion of steel from other countries to the EU market as a result of the recently imposed US tariffs. The safeguard measures will come into effect on July 19, 2018. Traditional imports of steel products will not be affected. (REF: IP/18/4563). For more information click here.

 

TRADE: On July 17, 2018, the EU - Japan summit took place in Tokyo and Presidents Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, signed the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. The trade agreement is the biggest ever negotiated by the EU and will create an open trade zone covering over 600 million people. (REF: IP/18/4526). For more information click here.



 
 
 

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