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The Management and Distribution of the Structural Funds in Slovakia: A Critical Enquiry

Vassilis Petsinis

This article focuses on the management and distribution of the EU Structural Funds in Slovakia. It is of great significance to monitor the management of the Structural Funds within the framework of Slovakia’s economic growth. This article is structured as a critical enquiry and has relied upon research that has been conducted on this subject by Slovak and international experts. Preliminary reference is made to the pre-accession phase. The main focus of this work is cast on the initial stage of the Structural Funds’ distribution (2004-2006), followed by an assessment of the present situation (2007-2013) and speculations about the future (2014-2020). This work comprises a structural overview which concentrates on the internal arrangement of Slovak regions and sets in context the governmental organs responsible for the allocation of the Structural Funds. The main questions are: How successful has the management of the Structural Funds in Slovakia been, so far? What is the role of local administration? Have there been any implications towards mismanagement and corruption? This article demonstrates that the Slovak authorities have, overall, been successful in managing and distributing the financial aid. Despite the persistence of centralisation and the occasional shortage in human resources, the devolution of the state’s administration has provided a viable trajectory for the allocation of the Structural Funds. Nevertheless, the enhancement of the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms remains an urgent task in order to prevent embezzlement and corruption.

Vassilis Petsinis is an academic researcher affiliated with the Herder Institut (Marburg, Germany) and Södertörns University (Stockholm, Sweden). This work forms part of the ‘Structural Funds in the New Europe’ pilot-study at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (Södertörns Högskola, Stockholm, 2011-2012). I would cordially like to thank my colleague at the Slovak Governance Institute (Bratislava), Dr Lucia Kureková, for her assistance towards the preparation of this report.


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