Tue. Jun 25th, 2024

Brussels, 27 June 2022

The European Commission has today endorsed a positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s first payment request for €398.7 million in grants (net of pre-financing) under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the key instrument at the heart of NextGenerationEU.

On 29 April, Slovakia submitted to the Commission a payment request based on the achievement of the 14 milestones selected in the Council Implementing Decisionfor the first instalment. They cover reforms of the judicial system and in the areas of higher education, the fiscal framework, the energy system, sustainable mobility, anti-corruption, the digitalisation of the public sector, as well as Slovakia’s audit and control system for the implementation of the RRF.

With their request, the Slovak authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 14 milestones. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.

The Slovakrecovery and resilience planincludes a wide range of investment and reform measures in 18 thematic components. It is worth €6.3 billion in grants, 13% of which (€822.7 million) was disbursed to Slovakia in pre-financing on 13 October 2021. The overall amount of the first payment request, including the earlier pre-financing, totals €458.3 million.

Payments under the RRF are performance-based and contingent on Member States implementing the investments and reforms outlined in their respective recovery and resilience plans.

Next steps

The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s fulfilment of the milestones required for this payment to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC’s opinion, to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission’s assessment. Following the EFC’s opinion, the Commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the disbursement to Slovakia would take place.

The Commission will assess further payment requests by Slovakia based on the fulfilment of the milestones and targets outlined in the Council Implementing Decision, reflecting progress on the implementation of the investments and reforms.

The amounts disbursed to the Member States are published in theRecovery and Resilience Scoreboard, which shows progress in implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans.

President Ursulavon der Leyensaid:

“I am pleased to announce good news for Slovakia! Once Member States will have also given their green light, Slovakia will receive €398.7 million in grants under NextGenerationEU. Slovakia has indeed made swift progress in implementing its recovery plan, through crucial reforms to increase the effectiveness of the justice system for example, or to make higher education institutions more international. So congratulations, Slovensko, and keep up the good work! The Commission stands by you on your way to recovery.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People said:

“Congratulations to Slovakia for meeting the first 14 milestones set out in its recovery and resilience plan. Many of these will contribute to Slovakia’s green and digital transition by reforming its energy system, promoting sustainable mobility and digitalising its public sector. Other significant milestones cover reforms of the Slovak judicial system and fiscal framework, as well as measures to tackle corruption. I congratulate Slovakia for pursuing such ambitious reforms. Once the Commission’s assessment is reviewed and approved by Member States, Slovakia should receive €398.7 million in grants to help create a more resilient economy with higher growth prospects.”

PaoloGentiloni, Commissioner for Economy, said:

“The Commission considers that Slovakia has achieved the first 14 milestones under its ambitious recovery and resilience plan. These are already strengthening the country’s economic and social resilience and advancing its digital and green transition. Linked to this first payment request are important measures that will boost the role of renewables in electricity generation and accelerate the decarbonisation of transport – helping to reduce Slovakia’s reliance on Russian fossil fuels, in line with the priorities set out in REPowerEU. In these uncertain times, I encourage the Slovak authorities to continue to push ahead with this bold investment and reform agenda. Determined implementation of the RRP holds the key to successfully navigating today’s challenging waters and steering the country forward

More Information:

Preliminary assessment

Questions and Answers on Slovakia’s disbursement request under NextGenerationEU

Press release: European Commission disburses €822.7 million in pre-financing to Slovakia

European Commission endorses Slovakia’s recovery and resilience plan

Factsheet on Slovakia’s recovery and resilience plan

Proposal for a Council Implementing Decision

Annex to the Proposal for a Council Implementing Decision

Staff-working document

Recovery and Resilience Facility

Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard

Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation

Questions and Answers: Recovery and Resilience Facility

EU as a borrower website

 


Questions and answers on Slovakia’s disbursement request under NextGenerationEU

27 June 2022

 

How did the Commission assess Slovakia’s first payment request?

On 29 April 2022, Slovakia submitted to the Commission a request for the disbursement of €398.7 million (net of pre-financing) in grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The request was based on the achievement of the 14 milestones, as outlined in the Council Implementing Decision approving the plan, for the first instalment. They cover reforms of the judicial system, and in the areas of higher education and R&D, the fiscal framework, the energy system, sustainable mobility, anti-corruption, the digitalisation of public sector as well as Slovakia’s audit and control system for the RRF implementation. In line with the RRF Regulation, the Commission had up to two months to carry out its preliminary assessment of the request.

With their request, the Slovak authorities provided detailed and comprehensive evidence demonstrating the fulfilment of the 14 milestones included in the Council Implementing Decision assessing the Recovery and Resilience Plan of Slovakia. The Commission has thoroughly assessed this information before presenting its positive preliminary assessment of the payment request.

What are the next steps?

The Commission has now sent its positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s fulfilment of the milestones required for this payment to the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), asking for its opinion. The EFC’s opinion, to be delivered within a maximum of four weeks, should be taken into account in the Commission’s assessment. The Commission will adopt the final decision on the disbursement of the financial contribution, in accordance with the examination procedure, through a comitology committee. Following the adoption of the decision by the Commission, the disbursement to Slovakia will take place. The amounts disbursed to the Member States are published in the Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard. The Commission has also shared its positive preliminary assessment with the European Parliament.

How do the milestones achieved by Slovakia so far effectively support the green transition?

The green transition is supported by several reforms covering renewable energy and sustainable transport.

Both the investment plan for railway infrastructure and the methodology for selecting, preparing and implementing projects aimed at boosting cycling set the basis for the promotion of cleaner transport. They will contribute to the objective of a modal shift from road transport to both railways and cycling.

There is also a higher capacity for connecting renewables to the electricity grid in Slovakia, following the review of rules on technical capacities for electricity transmission within the domestic electricity system. This reform measure will help to roll out the investments in renewable energy foreseen in and supported by the RRF.

How do the milestones achieved by Slovakia so far effectively contribute to the digital transition?

While milestones and targets related to the digital transition are more concentrated in subsequent instalments, one important measure is already covered by the first payment. The National Concept for the Digitalisation of Public Administration for the 2021-2030 period was adopted. The reform aims to further digitalise the Slovak public administration and ensure cybersecurity, and is centred around four main priority axes, namely better public services, digital and data transition, effective IT systems and cybersecurity and information security of public administration. The plan defines as its strategic headline target a 40% progress in the DESI Digital services index, by 2026, compared to the current situation.

How do the milestones achieved by Slovakia so far contribute to improving Slovakia’s economic and social situation, and its resilience?

Slovakia successfully introduced expenditure ceilings in the law on budgetary rules, a reform milestone contributing to the resilience of public finances.

The review of rules on technical capacities for electricity transmission within the electricity system now allows for higher volumes of renewables to be connected to the national grid. The new investments improve the overall resilience of the energy system. Most notably, the reform provides new opportunities for the independent production of electricity, with positive effects on companies’ competitiveness.

Slovakia has also met several milestones linked to reforms of the management system of higher education institutions and of the organisation and funding of the Slovak Academy of Science, thus enabling increased cooperation with the private sector. To address the fragmentation and enhance research capacities and internationalisation, it has adopted a roadmap for merging universities as well as a strategy for the internationalisation of universities.

Several justice reforms constitute significant steps towards improving the effectiveness of the justice system, including a reorganisation of the judicial court map that allows for the enhanced specialisation of judges. The legislative changes also aim at improving the judiciary’s integrity. In addition, the police organisational reform will increase its capacity to detect and handle new forms of crime and corruption.

Does the achievement of these first milestones contribute to an effective implementation of the Plan?

The milestones fulfilled demonstrate significant steps in the implementation of Slovakia’s recovery and resilience plan, and of its broad reform agenda over the lifetime of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. They include an investment plan for railway infrastructure projects and the development of a methodology for selecting, preparing and implementing projects aimed at boosting cycling, which seek to contribute to a faster rollout of the green modes of transport. A set of laws aimed at strengthening the integrity and independence of the judicial system and helping the fight against corruption is also included.

Reforms in the areas of higher education, research and development, and digitalisation of the public administration create a solid basis and effective framework for additional reforms and investments supported by the RRF in the subsequent payment periods. To enable speedy and effective implementation, Slovakia has set up a comprehensive implementation system governed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility Act along with implementing guidelines. The main coordination role is assigned to the National Implementation and Coordination Authority (NICA). Slovakia also established an audit and control system linked to the RRF, as well as a repository system providing information for the monitoring of the implementation of the Plan.

Why did Slovakia present these 14 milestones for its first payment request?

The milestones and targets to be included in each of the payment requests are set out in the Council Implementing Decision approving the relevant national plan. In the case of Slovakia, this Decision provides for the first instalment which is linked to the 14 milestones that Slovakia has now achieved. While Member States can decide when to submit a payment request, they cannot unilaterally change the milestones linked to each instalment, nor their number.

More Information

Preliminary assessment

Press release: European Commission endorses positive preliminary assessment of Slovakia’s request for €398.7 million disbursement under the Recovery and Resilience Facility

Press release: European Commission disburses €822.7 million in pre-financing to Slovakia

European Commission endorses Slovakia’s recovery and resilience plan

Factsheet on Slovakia’s recovery and resilience plan

Proposal for a Council Implementing Decision

Annex to the Proposal for a Council Implementing Decision

Staff-working document

Recovery and Resilience Facility

Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard

Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation

Questions and Answers: Recovery and Resilience Facility

EU as a borrower website

 

 

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