EU funds lesson not learnt

Topical issue

EU funds lesson not learnt

14. 09. 2018 13:45

Up to 80 percent of public investments in Slovakia come from European structural and investment funds, stated the Vice-premier for Investment and Informatisation Richard Raši on Thursday during an international conference entitled "Evaluation of EU Funds - Are We Able to Learn Our Lesson?" The topic of the event is an ex-post evaluation of the use of EU funds in Slovakia in the given programme period. The deputy prime minister was, however, referring to the 2007-2013 programme period. Slovakia used more than €11 billion from the EU Cohesion Fund and the EU structural funds in the 2007-13 programming period, with every euro from the Slovak state budget being augmented by four euros from EU funds.

"Slovakia tops the list of the countries poaching EU funds with the record of 51% of its own resources stolen, followed by Great Britain with 13% and Latvia with 7%," Opposition MP Miroslav Beblavý informed the media on Wednesday. He was referring to the 2013 - 2017 annual reports of the European anti-fraud office (OLAF).

The accusations from the opposition, however, come unnoticed. Richard Raši further informed that the level of paid out and absorbed money in the current programme period of drawing European Union funds was less than 16 percent. As he added, he is not satisfied with this situation. According to him, it will be possible to help the Transport and Construction Ministry by transferring funds to support transport infrastructure. Slovakia has €15 billion in the current programme period. "To date, 90 percent of the invitations and calls have been made so that potential beneficiaries could apply for it. More than 60 percent has been contracted," said the deputy prime minister. The reason for this level of drawing is also bureaucracy. However, he considers the shortening of public procurement as well as electronic communication to be a form of progress.

Martina Šimkovičová, Photo: AP/SITA

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