Electronic Library of Scientific Literature - © Academic Electronic Press
Volume 50 / No. 4 / 2002
Economic research in Slovakia dedicates itself for a long time indeed to theoretical problems and practical course of the integration process in the EU as well as some implications related to the Slovak Republic. However, as late as in March of this year the Institute of Slovak and World Economy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences got a Government order to design the first impact study. Considering the specific character of impact studies, it was necessary from the methodology as well as content point of view to define their character, position, and importance as well as national and international co-ordinates for their elaboration.
Impact studies just presented in this paper are characterised as a specific joining of elements in SWOT analysis, prognosis and strategy. One can elaborate them taking into account various structural level and intersections from the EU as a whole through individual national economies, sectors branches and enterprises down to various interest groups. At the same time, due to the changes in EU and in individual candidate and member countries, one usually expects a certain periodicity of pre-enter and post-enter impact studies.
Key part of the paper concentrates it attention at the definition of basic attributes of national-economy oriented impact study concerned with the economic and social connections of the Slovak entry into the EU. It characterises the basic aim and its decomposition into partial targets. It presents essential description of advantages and disadvantages, chances and risks of Slovakia’s incorporation into the integration process. Referring to the experience of the EU countries there is an urgent need of visions, predictions, concepts and market conformable plans and programmes. From the point of view of the Slovak conditions, the paper pays special attention to the substantiation of the necessity of rational strengthening managerial, administrative and implementation capacities.
In the conclusion, the paper explains the significance of the formation of the European research space of the extended EU and its asset for the elaboration of impact studies.
Ivan OKÁLI – Karol MORVAY – Egon HLAVATÝ
One of the basic (Copenhagen) criteria that must be met by countries admitted into the EU is to establish operational market economy. Its attribute is to achieve continuous economic growth (GDP increase) at the level witnessing sufficient competitiveness of the country and the ability to eliminate gradually its economic lagging behind current EU member countries (solving its convergence task).
The development of transitional economies and its comparison with the economic development in the EU countries proves that an indispensable condition to ensure continuous growth rate sufficiently high to solve convergence task is balanced growth. This balanced growth is (as practical experience witness) markedly conditioned by maintaining the economy in the state of balance, which demands responsible economic policy, and, above all, consistent completion of reforms.
When stressing the importance of macro-economic stability for the achievement of long-term high rates of economic growth (and thus also for the convergence the Slovak economy with EU countries), the demand of balance should not be superior over the need to increase economic performance. This is evident mainly when one tries to maintain balance at by all means, e.g. also by limiting development sources and results. In relations between stability and growth causality acts both ways. Accentuation on one of its aspects and above all on the direction of impulses flowing from balance to growth has been pronounced only because Slovakia has transitional economy with strong unbalancing factors and inefficient balancing mechanism. It is true that the relation between growth and balance without any one-sidedness has its sense in the economic growth ensuring gradual modernisation of the Slovak economy as a basis for the understanding of the economic convergence of the Slovak Republic with the EU countries.
The cycles of weakening and strengthening of the macroeconomic balance are characteristic also for the countries, which entered the EU during its previous enlargements. One cannot unambiguously confirm that entering the EU alone could contribute toward the (de)stabilising of macroeconomic development in the short term or medium term horizon.
Not the integration alone, but rather the currently acting internal features of Slovak economy functioning are the main risk factor endangering its stability. Chronic disposition towards unbalance caused by the insufficient level of competitiveness was more than once only temporarily eliminated by various packages of stabilising measures.
Intermediate consumption intensity and import intensity encoded in the production cause vulnerability of the economy. This, in addition, is enhanced as a result of the inclination of public finance to reproduce deficits and liabilities.
Not even after several attempts for macroeconomic stabilisation, one can speak about its steadily satisfying condition. Closing phase of EU pre-entry preparations has to be the phase of prudent fiscal policy combined with the effort to reform problem areas of the public sector. Along with the elimination of further deformations of market environment should lead towards the generation of such conditions that will enable Slovak economy to behave as a standard market economy and to eliminate thus specific – transformation factors causing balance fluctuation cycles.
Systematic maintaining high investment rate in the Slovak economy can be considered as its comparative advantage contributing its long-term high GDP growth rate. The investment intensity of the economic growth reached in Slovakia compared to other transitional economies, on the whole satisfying value. It has been also lower than the EU-15 average and in its southern wing.
Compared to other transitive economies inherent accumulation sources in the Slovak Republic in the years 1993 – 2000 were increased by foreign resources to a higher extent. This on the one hand strengthened investment potential of Slovakia, on the other hand endangered its economic stability because in foreign resources above all up to the year 1998 (incl.) prevailed credits (to a large extent guaranteed by Government) over direct foreign investments.
The influence of EU entry on the labour market development is a serious question. Trend analysis that act in the labour market suggest that forces already exist in the Slovak economy, which can bring about in the medium term horizon more stable change in the so far unfavourable development of unemployment.
Fiscal policy has been in the monitored time period characterised by the unbalance in public finances. This unbalance was in the years 1996 – 1998 the result of overexposed effort at the direct support of the economic growth and in the years 1999 – 2001 resulted also from the costs to restructure bank sector alongside with the inadequate advance of the transformation in health service, social welfare and education.
The development of public finances in the year 2002 witnesses that the reform of these sectors is not in the situation ensuring their lasting positive influence on the macro-economic stability.
Lagging behind mainly in institutional reforms (characteristic for the hitherto phases of transformation) permitted indeed short-term positive results in currency development, however at the expense of the increase of long-term problems and the decline of Slovak Crown exchange rate. Thus, it appeared that nominal convergence would become really accessible only after the execution of all structure changes needed for the standard functioning market economy in Slovakia.
The information on the transformation of smaller open economies point out at the fact that successful integration aiming of Slovakia will demand long term stabilising of the currency balance, which in the small (and sensitive to external influence) Slovak economy needs considerable degree of elasticity and smart adaptation to external influence. Also from the currency point of view such an economy growth rate is advisable, which will support stable uniform currency development. From listed points of view, one cannot consider as real the effort for premature currency integration into the system of common currency, without the conclusion of decisive transformation tasks.
Adequate institutional structure is a precondition for EU membership. As the reference date for accession is 2004, all relevant acquis should be implemented until the end of this year and so is expected adequate strengthening of capacities. In the accession process framework are specified another priorities (e. g., harmonization of legal system), measures for implementation and conditions for providing support. However, adaptation depends also on transparency of decision-making, law enforcement and elimination of corruption. Reform of public administration, made through decentralization, is based on operation of state administration and regional self-government and on changing competencies with the aim to reduce expenditures and improve services. Respected in this process are principles of subsidiarity and competitive environment.
In general, there has been a strengthening of the system of governmental management bodies like, e. g., Custom directorate of the Slovak republic. In the case of public finance the gradual reductions of subsidies is the basic principle to be followed in the next future and market functioning should be improved via financial control over enterprises. Economic policy priorities have shifted from liberalization and privatization towards structural changes in corporate sector, reforms of public finance and regional development. The importance of EU regulation has been increasing. However, in certain areas as, e. g., in ecology, introduction of such measures can lead to higher costs for domestic producers and to more intense competition from abroad. Institutional building includes also effort to increase transparency and business ethics. Important is an amendment of Commercial Code, which has transposed several EU directives regulating corporate law. The amendment should increase transparency of ownership and business relations and, therefore, lead to a better corporate governance. Mentioned briefly are survey results on increasing ownership concentration of the biggest shareholders. Among central issues is also formation of competitive environment. Following acts on state assistance and on protection of economic competition, expected is approval of legal regulations allowing to provide group exceptions from prohibition of agreements limiting competition for certain agreements.
Despite the fact that, as mentioned above, the state enforces liberal model of the economy based on transparency of business environment it also aims to develop some industries or branches to make Slovak industrial structure more similar to that of EU countries. Such changes should lead towards higher intraindustry trade, a feature typical for developed economies. Accepted concept of state science and technology policy, supporting participation in EU framework programs, faces problem with inadequate funding.
In corporate law an amended bankruptcy act has enforced position of creditors which should speed-up corporate restructuring and recovery. Being aware of the positive role of foreign investment, the state promotes their inflows using certain policy measures like tax holiday etc. As a potential positive by-product of ending privatization is considered the possibility that completion of privatization could eliminate chances for corruption in state administration.
Some changes have indirect impact on corporate costs of production. Poorly performing healthcare sector increases illness rates of workforce and problems in education sector negatively affects qualification of labor force. It is necessary, according to policy-makers, to reform social system by changing the system of pension and social insurance and social aid. Reform of healthcare should guarantee transition towards predominantly ambulant form of care and decentralization of the whole system. Elementary healthcare insurance should be extended by supplementary insurance and optional commercial insurance schemes.
In environmental protection the main principles are those related to sustainable development. National environmental action program SR II has originated and the realization of this policy is conditioned by introduction of environmental taxes, management and audit. Projected are also monitoring and information systems. Key role in the process of EU integration has regional policy. With respect to substantial differences in development of individual regions, a support of less developed or mostly affected regions has been expected. National plan of regional development creates conditions for harmonization of regional policy with EU policy in this area and cooperation of various bodies for regional development. Last year a new act on support of regional development was passed and necessary organizational units were created. Completed should be soon the system for implementation of structural funds, management of funds for EU programs and implemented should be the administrative structure at NUTS II level. Improvement of technical preparation of projects financed from EU structural funds is needed.
In the area of free movement of goods it is necessary implement operational directives related to technical requirements for products. Act on public procurement has already been implemented to a substantial degree acquis but real use has remained a problem. Legal changes should be followed by building of administrative capacities. One example is the need for coordination of the control of adjustment process in the area of Slovak technical norms in non-harmonized area.
As general requirement, it is necessary to implement numerous laws in individual chapters in the whole EU directives agenda. Labor Code and laws on state and public services, in the chapter of social policy and employment, were implemented recently but the remaining problem is flexibility of labor market. Approval of the law on network industries regulation, creation of regulatory office and removal of price distortions had prepared conditions for successful restructuring of energy industry. Passed was the law on emergency petrol reserves and petrol products and amended was the law on state tangible reserves. Enforced will be the capacity of the Office for regulation of network industries due to the preparation of secondary legislature in this area. In a preliminary concluded chapter Protection of consumer and health remaining directives should be implemented, e. g., marking of consumer products with price tags, and legislature regulating market supervision. Passed was also a custom act, fully harmonized should be the scheme of General system of preferences (until 2004) and passed should be an act on Export-import Bank of the SR. In preparatory stage is a new information society strategy.
Progress in transposition of accession chapters is the subject of EC evaluations. Report on Preparedness (2001) positively evaluates number of measures already made. It states that progress has been reached in the areas of structure and functioning of administration, justice, legislature of internal market, corporate law and competition. Progress has to be made in agriculture sector and in enforcing of administrative capacities (e. g., management and control of EC funds). Improvement has been expected especially in the area of corporate law, competition, social policy and employment. Comparison of candidate countries made on the basis of convergence indicator DCEI (DGZ Deka Bank) shows that the Slovak republic still lacks behind other candidate partners. However, in the area of institutional convergence is its evaluation better than is the total country rating. Evaluations have informative purpose only but for accession decisions one should look also on non-economic (political and strategic) dimensions.
In connection with the EU extension by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe one stresses in the preparatory period rather the take-over and implementation of the EU legislation. This seems to be preferred to the economic performance, and above all, to the real ability of candidate countries to meet the competitive pressure within the EU, as Copenhagen criteria of EU membership define. Just this real convergence of the main parameters of economy with the average level of such parameters in the EU reflects the ability of relevant country to adjust to the competing pressure in the EU and after all, how profitable will be the integration effects for country's population.
Based on discussions and controversies at various world platforms and international conferences the author explores real convergence of parameters relevant for the process of integration and accepts as an object for this exploration competitiveness criterion of the economy. At the same time, the author starts out of the premise that monitoring and analysis of competitiveness are justified not only at the enterprise level, but also at the level of the economy as a whole.
In this paper, the author characterises one of the additional (beside the so-called multicriteria evaluation method) approaches towards the evaluation of the competitiveness of the economy. He applies this approach at the analysis of the level of Slovak economy competitiveness. This analysis has been implemented just before the expected Slovak entry into the EU. Author’ s aim is to identify Slovakia’ s lagging behind the EU average, comparing its competitiveness also with other candidate countries from Central Europe. This approach consists in relatively complex characteristics of competitive ability of the economy by macro-economic indicators and indicators adequate to the lower aggregate (commodity – branch) level and seeking the links and connections between these levels. By means of this approach it is possible to get an overview on the structuring of the process of competitiveness increase, which is important for the formulation of economic policy. At the same time this approach means the transfer of the foreign trade understanding of competitiveness towards the apprehension observing above all the links with the overall performance of the economy, which agrees with new theories of the international trade and economic growth.
Apart from the GDP share (in purchasing power parity – PPP) per capita there are within the framework of macro-economic indicators also other important and explanatory competitiveness indicators. These are comparable summary labour productivity expressed by PPP, currency exchange rate deviation, comparable price level and also labour productivity expressed by GDP in current prices recalculated in nominal exchange rate per worker (the so called rated productivity). And just the rated productivity is in candidate countries considerably diverse and strongly correlated with the indicators that characterise qualitative competitiveness.
The analysis of these indicators demonstrated that competitiveness of the Slovak economy in relatively complex concept and from the qualitative point of view has shown in hitherto transformation period certain improvement. Lagging behind the EU average, however, still remains considerable, and its position compared to some other candidate Central European countries, above all Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary is generally worse. The analysis demonstrated further, that the main accent at increasing competitiveness of the Slovak economy should be aimed at productivity growth based on the technology modernisation, product differentiation and innovation, and in-branch co-operation mainly at such production segments that demand research and are skilled labour intensive. Such strategy orientation has a chance at the Slovak entry into the EU.
The basic aim of the paper is to appreciate to what extent are structural relations and comprehensive qualitative parameters of sectors and branches or their tendencies in the Slovak economy comparable with V4 countries from the disparities in relation to the EU point of view. The question is whether the level of disparities presents or not presents a fundamental obstacle for the real convergence with the EU. The results of comparative analysis presented in the paper suggest that Slovakia, in spite of the fact that in some parameters is lagging behind Hungary and the Czech Republic (and obviously also behind Slovenia, which has not been analysed), is from the point of view of the structure adaptation comparable with monitored countries.
Sector and branch structure of the Slovak economy has been changed profoundly in the course of transformation and approached the proportions typical from EU member countries. Differences relating selected EU countries, which have been found, do not exceed those existing also with the EU. In the layers of production and services’ structure segmented in more detail one finds out evidently lower share of modern technology and information intensive activities not only in comparison with developed EU countries, but also comparing it for instance with Hungary. Lower engagement of foreign direct investments above all in the manufacturing industry in the Slovak Republic led definitely towards slower course of the qualitative structure changes. One can expect that Slovak’ s entry in the EU will bring about positive changes in this respect.
Comparing with EU member countries candidate countries accomplish considerably lower labour productivity. In Slovakia labour productivity is about half of that achieved in the EU (which is some point less than in the Czech Republic and Hungary, but more than in Poland). In individual branches are these relations (compared to those in Austria) fairly differentiated. The highest relative level of labour productivity Slovakia has achieved in agriculture, on the other hand the worst results are in construction.
Slovakia achieves relatively high level of labour productivity in the sector of services both in international comparison and also in the inter-branch comparison in Slovakia. Labour productivity in this sector increases alongside with the growth of employment, which is particularly important. International comparison of more detailed structure of services' sector shows that in Slovakia are less developed just these services that are developing in modern economy very dynamically.
Estimated relations in the labour productivity level towards Austria are in industry, also in manufacturing industry in Slovakia less favourable than in the Czech Republic and Hungary. In the manufacturing industry, the Slovak Republic reached in the year 1999 about 40 per cent of the Austrian level. To increase labour productivity in this branch will be obviously very demanding as it does not depend on producers only, is influenced, however also on implementation conditions in foreign markets. In addition, at the low level of wages and unit costs of labour (roughly one fourth of that of Austria) and at high prevalence of supply over demand on the labour market producers are not motivated towards technology innovations.
Changes in production structure of the manufacturing industry, which have been implemented during the transformation, suggest that this structure approaches the one characteristic for developed EU countries. This structure differs from that of the less developed EU countries mainly by lower share of production of consumer goods and foodstuffs on the one hand and markedly higher share of capital goods on the other. Main problem of the manufacturing industry of the Slovak Republic is no longer its structure in various branches, but above all slow implementation course of new technology and information intensive productions within individual branches. Without these new technology and information intensive productions one cannot increase more rapidly quality competitiveness.
Several positive trends can be seen in the development of the Slovak foreign trade with industrially processed goods. In the structure of its exports, the share of goods more demanding on manpower increased whereas the share of raw/material intensive goods decreased. At the same time the share of goods that assert themselves by their quality competitiveness has increased and contrariwise the share of goods competing by prices has decreased. Some progress has been achieved also by the development of relations between kilogram prices of imports and exports. The position of Slovak enterprises in foreign trade prices in the EU market changes gradually – the distance of export prices in the Slovak manufacturing industry from the EU average has improved in the period 1995 – 1999 by roughly 10 per cent points and is more favourable than that of the Czech Republic and Poland.
In spite of positive changes achieved in the current course of transformation from the structure and adaptation points of view, the process of quality changes in the Slovak economy structure has to intensify markedly during the pre-entry preparations and also after the entry into the EU. This process should support economic growth and contribute also to the solution of labour market problems.
Entrepreneurial subjects obviously will play the key role in the implementation of the structure changes. More elastic course of structure changes must be supported also by the State by the conclusion of the institutional framework of market economy, by stabilising macro-economic environment but also by structure policy oriented above all at closing the technology and innovative gap between Slovakia and developed economies. The implementation of this structure policy cannot do without long term development programme based on the support of modern technology transfer (mainly by means of foreign direct investments), the development of manpower potential and science and research.
One cannot expect, particularly not in the near future, the solution of problems in the labour market through the programmes targeted at the enhancement of the technology level of production. The support of small and medium enterprising, regional policy, the support of countryside development (preferred EU policies) should therefore as a priority orient at the generation of new jobs with relatively low capital and imported inputs intensity.
The Lisbon meeting of the European Council March 2000 recognized research and innovation potential of a country as the most effective factors of competitiveness of EU countries on the globalizing markets. This applies also for the candidate countries striving for access to the EU. In assessing the level of mentioned factors it is necessary to state that Slovakia is in this respect lagging behind. Particularly this applies to reduction of expenditure on scientific and research institutes.
Expenditures on research and development (R & D) per 100 thousand inhabitants in the EU countries are roughly 6-times higher than in Slovakia. Their share in GDP in Slovakia is 0.68 per cent compared to 1.86 per cent in the EU.
Though reduction of employees in R & D was necessary in comparison with the economic potential of Slovakia, however, till 2000 it reduced below the EU countries level. The number of R & D employees declined since 1989 till 2000 by 75.3 per cent and in the enterprise sector even by 87.5 per cent.
Personal expenditures on thousand employees of R & D account in Slovakia hardly for 20 per cent of the EU level. This high difference in material incentive is the main reason of emigration of researchers to foreign countries.
Low level of expenditure is also for the innovation activities in the enterprise sector. Two factors are decisive: The first one consists in preferring import of modern technologies with the aim of decreasing the risk of developing them in domestic environment. The second one consists in strong reduction of R & D potential because of lack of financial means.
In the EU countries from the total expenditure on innovations 22 per cent are intended for investment and 53 per cent for domestic research. In Slovakia the relation is inverted: 33 per cent for investment and 13 per cent for domestic research. If this approach does not result in a radical decline of research potential, it can be accepted. Otherwise there is a threat that a dangerous gap would generate in intellectual potential jeopardizing perspective development of sophisticated industries.
The share of innovating enterprises in total number of enterprises in manufacturing industry is in the EU countries three times higher than in Slovakia. At he same time the largest differences arise in those categories of economic activities which from the perspective development are most interesting (machine and equipment manufacture, electrical and optical equipment manufacture, transport means and chemical product manufacture).
Important part of innovation activities is the global economic climate. In this respect observations gained by surveys are very valuable. The expectations of enterprise sphere connected with the access of Slovakia to the EU can shortly be characterized as slightly positive. 51 per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are of the opinion that the access of Slovakia to the EU will offer more opportunities for co-operation with firms in the EU countries and assertion on their markets. Only 11 per cent are concerned about the impact of competition and 35 per cent of SMEs do not expect any change at all.
As concerns the use of information technology, interconnection of personal computers to internet is used by 43 per cent of SMEs and electronic trade only 14 per cent. Microprocessors installed in production equipment are used only by 22 per cent. Concerning the level of production technologies roughly half of respondents consider it as similar. As most frequent barrier for broader use of modern production technologies some respondents declare small purchasing power (47 per cent), small domestic market (43 per cent), weak sale abroad (25 per cent) and high price (15 per cent).
Important is the fact that only 4.7 per cent of SMEs invest systematically in renovation of technology on basis of a perspective strategy, on irregular basis 32.2 per cent and 63 per cent of entrepreneurs invest at random in case of instant need. This shows to weak preparation of enterprises for elaborating effective programs. From among 349 applications for venture capital over the years 1995 – 2000 233 of them were refused, i. e. 67 per cent, because of not meeting the required criteria.
Vilma JURÍČKOVÁ – Jaroslav VOKOUN
Successful adaptation of the enterprising sphere to market conditions, its preparedness and ability to face competition pressures in case of the entry into the joint market is one of the basic conditions of the Slovak integration into the EU.
Analyses aimed at this problem as well as empirical research accomplished to find out the preparedness of enterprises for this changeover follows that Slovak enterprises similarly as the enterprises in other transforming countries are inadequately prepared for this step.
Such an unsatisfactory situation has several reasons, which issue both from the inside of respective enterprises, and from the outer environment.
One of the main internal reasons worrying the enterprising sphere is no transparency of the property relations and high rate of their uncertainty.
In spite of the fact that most of the enterprises went over from public sector into the private one and thus property restructuring has been more or less brought to an end, instead of property stabilising one witnesses its destabilisation.
Therefore just the consolidation of property relations, and their transparency is the first prerequisite of their efficient operation and correct exploitation.
Further of the decisive internal factors of the successful adaptation of enterprises and indicator of their preparedness is the financial position of enterprises. Adequate capital and property equipment is an irreplaceable condition for the successful operation of an enterprise. Its level depends on the level of financial management of the enterprise, which is closely connected with the character of property relations. Good financial position belongs to the internal bases of firm’s development and is one of the conditions of its quick adaptation to the conditions of the EU Single Market.
Financial position of enterprises determines to a large extent their competitiveness. The decrease of share in the relevant market is often accompanied exactly by the deterioration of the financial situation of the enterprise. It is evident that enterprises with better financial position realise their position in foreign markets more efficiently than enterprises in bad financial situation.
From the point of view of the financial situation of the enterprises, the access to financial resources is important. Enterprises in better financial position also have better access to financial resources. The disadvantage of the Slovak enterprises is their current preference of high concentration of their property, which creates a barrier of obtaining financial resources.
External parameters of enterprise adaptation are not less important. Among them an important determinant is the political system ensuring political stability, which to a decisive measure determines the success of economic reforms. Political system of the Slovak Republic is assessed by analyses of the European Bank for Recovery and Development – EBRD as a system with partially limited competition of political parties and rank it closely under the line between transitive countries with the so called democracy with a free competition of political parties and countries with limited party competition. The course of reforms in Slovakia, however implemented, though not consistent, is thus set.
Among external parameters of the development of enterprise sphere very important is the macro-economic policy that aims at macro-economic growth and macro-economic stability. Macro-economic policy creates start-up base for the generation of enterprising environment. Macro-economic environment creates institutional framework, through which positive or negative motivation of the enterprising sector arises. Macro-economic policy in interaction with the political system and the legislation order is able to ensure safety and transparency of property rights and also their exercise, which leads enterprises towards performance and competitiveness.
Indispensable condition for the balanced state of the enterprising sphere is also the improvement to finance enterprises externally. The banks play indispensable role here. Banking sector is one of the main sources of financing enterprises. To fulfil this task appropriately it is necessary to conclude bank restructuring and to improve the efficiency of their activities.
The improvement of the situation in the enterprising sphere, and the increased level of its preparedness to enter single market should be the synergic effect of all these factors, external and internal. Since not all assumptions are sufficiently fulfilled, the degree of enterprise preparedness is inadequate either. These conclusions are acknowledged also by empiric researches made by the experts of Eurochambers in ten candidate countries and also by the surveys implemented by the Institute of the Slovak and World Economic of the Slovak Academy of Sciences at the selected sample of the Slovak firms. Both surveys conclude that almost the half of the Slovak firms not even started to prepare for the entry into the single market. In spite of that, and paradoxically enough, the expectations of these firms are more than optimistic.
The report is oriented on the identification of possibilities and assumptions for the increase of attractivity of regions in the economy of Slovakia, regarding the EU entry. In particular, the aim was to show the state of regions in the field of regional development. A special emphasis was given to the formation of the Slovak regional policy system so, that this system is in the period of entry compatible with the realised EU regional policy.
The first part of the report is oriented on the evaluation of the social-economical development of the regions, following the selected indicators and on identification of regional disparities in the economy of Slovakia.
The second part is oriented on the identification of assumption and conditions for increase of attractiveness of regions and on a draft of four possible scenarios of regional development, regarding the contribution and risks of the entry of Slovakia to the EU.
The final part of the report is oriented on the harmonisation of EU requests in the field of regional policy and the co-ordination of structural instruments with the national system of regional policy.
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