Bratislava development strategies in need of reform

Topical issue

Bratislava development strategies in need of reform

06. 11. 2019 14:33

"Spending public money in Bratislava is inefficient and fails to meet European trends," said Karol Mitrík, president of the Supreme Audit Office. On Tuesday, Mitrík introduced a new analysis that should serve to start discussion on public administration reform. According to him, Bratislava's key challenges are its weak budget support for the housing needs of young families, and insufficient capacities in kindergartens. "The increasing pressure on capacities in kindergartens will eventually affect primary schools, too. However, when it comes to benefitting from European structural and investment funds to tackle these issues, Bratislava finds itself in a disadvantaged position as compared to the rest of Slovakia," informed the Supreme Audit Office, adding that a supplementary budget could be obtained by a local tax reform.

Bratislava residents are city residents as well as urban area residents. In some cases, however, they have no influence over events in neighbouring urban areas, even though these events concern them personally. These situations give rise to jurisdiction conflicts between the capital and particular urban areas that are reflected in decisions regarding territorial and construction issues. "This is why we suggest a complete evaluation of the scope of responsibility of urban areas within the city and the city itself," stated the Supreme Audit Office.

The Office suggests adopting a more appropriate financing strategy and a reconsideration of the number of urban areas within the city, as well as the "legislative anchoring of Bratislava's particular status as a capital city." It also advises a reconsideration of the current model of income tax redistribution paid to local authorities.

Ctibor Koštál, director of the Bratislava city hall has stated that the analysis presented by the Supreme Audit Office shows the need for a significant injection of funds in order to provide individual services with the required extra funding. "It is clear now that not only urban areas but also the surrounding municipalities should be included in Bratislava development strategies. Only then can we call our capital a metropolitan area that a significant number of residents are able to benefit from," stated Košťál.

Jonathan McCormick, Photo: Flickr/Miroslav Petrasko

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