So far, 90% of the invitations and calls have been made, enabling potential beneficiaries to apply, deputy PM for investment and informatization Richard Rasi (leftist senior ruling Smer) commented on the progress in using EU funds from the 2014-2020 programming period. Furthermore, more than 60% has been contracted. Recall that in late June, Rasi reported that calls for 85% of all EU funds have been already announced and contracts for more than 40% of them have been already signed. However, the absorption lags behind, being less than 16% currently, he said on Thursday. According to Rasi, one of the reasons for this unsatisfactory level of drawing is bureaucracy. At the same time, the deputy PM considers the shortening of public procurement to be a progress. Rasi also considers possibly helping the transport and construction ministry by transferring funds to the respective operational program to support the transport infrastructure. Some EUR15bn are available to Slovakia in the current programming period. Faster EU funds absorption will boost investments and also GDP growth (projected at 4.1% by the government and at 4% by the NBS).
Also on Thursday, Rasi noted that presently the authorities are preparing for the new 2021-2027 programming period for drawing EU funds. His office has formulated a plan to simplify the drawing and increase transparency. The deputy PM also said that they have signed an agreement with the OECD to help them prepare a draft package of measures to minimize the possibility of misuse.