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Slovakia Country Report

Forschungsarbeit 2009 26 Seiten

Politik - Internationale Politik - Region: Osteuropa

Leseprobe

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Country Overview

3 Political Overview
3.1 Governance and political stability
3.2 Corruption
3.3 International relations

4 Economical Overview
4.1 The real sector
4.2 Public sector
4.3 Monetary sector
4.3.1 Money market and monetary policy
4.3.2 Foreign exchange market
4.4 External sector
4.5 Labor market

5 Social Overview

6 Technological Overview

7 Summary

Appendices

Reference list

1 Introduction

This report aims to deliver findings on the risk analysis of Slovakia. The analysis is based on the potential risks that might occur in the country’s business and economic environment. It may serve as a guideline for public, foreign and private investors who are willing to establish or perform business activities or investments in Slovakia. The report may also be used by the governmental agencies or government itself in order to better recognize and perceive the problems and sensitivities in the system and take further action in order to overcome them.

2 Country Overview

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Source: CIA The World Factbook
Source: http://www.countryreport.org

Slovakia is located in central Europe, on the crossroads between Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Austria. The country has a total surface of 49,035 sq km1, including 50% agricultural and respectively 41% forest and 5,400,998 inhabitants (January 1st, 2008).

The main Slovak national holidays are the Constitution Day, celebrated on 1st of September (1992) and the Liberation of the Republic, on 8th of May. The capital of the country is Bratislava, situated on south-west, with a population of 435,118 (2007).

The only official language of the country is Slovakian; and large percentage of the population is able to speak German and English too. Main sectors are manufacturing, electro technical, chemical, petrol, steel, textile and food processing industries.

The main minority group is represented by Hungarians, accounting 11% of the population, followed by Germans and Polish with 10% (2007). The main religion in Slovak is Roman Catholic – 60% of the population, followed by other religions – 18% and atheists – 10% and Protestants – 8%.2 The Slovak’s national currency is koruna slovenska (Sk) or Slovak crown, made up of 100 haler, introduced after the break-up of the monetary union with the Czech Republic3. Slovakia has a continental climate, with warm summers and cold winters. The hottest month is July (20.4°C) and the coldest is January (-1.9°C).

3 Political Overview

Independent Slovakia was formed on 1 January 1993 when Slovak and Czech agreed to separate peacefully only three years after the breakup of the communist system that had dominated the country since 19484. Since then, politics of Slovak Republic has been taking place in a multiparty parliamentary democratic framework, led by a prime minister and 150 members of the National Council. Legislative power is performed by National Council of the Slovak Republic (article number: 72 to 92) and by Referendum (article no: 93 to 100). Furthermore, the judiciary legislature is independent from the executive one.

Starting July 2006 the Government has been a three-party coalition led by the party of the prime minister, Roberto Fico, the Direction-Social Democracy (Smer- SD), the People’s Party-Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (LS), headed by Vladimir Meciar, and the far right Slovak National Party (SNS), led by Jan Slota.

In Slovakia the presidential and legislative elections are held every four years the next elections being scheduled for April 2009, respectively June 20105.

Republic of Slovakia has been divided into eight regions in terms of administrative namely Banska Bystrica, Bratislava, Kosice, Nitra, Presov, Trencin, Trnava and Zilina.

According to the Freedom House ranking, Slovakia is considered to be a free country in terms of freedom and liberty, expressed by the Political Rights and Civil Liberties. The most free countries are ranked with measure one, while the least free ones are given number 7. (Please refer to Table 1 in Appendices, p. 21)

90% of the citizens said ‘yes’ in the referendum for EU membership in May 2003, the majority of the rest 10% was due to insensitivity to vote. EU and NATO membership supports Slovakia’s security. Slovakia does not have any problem regarding terrorism.

3.1 Governance and political stability

The country is currently considered to be stable, although the political party system is still relatively weakly consolidated according to the east-central European standards. Furthermore, an analysis performed by the World Bank Policy Research characterizes Slovakia’s governance as being a satisfactory one. The measure has been done according to some specific threats that may affect the governance of a country, like coups, terrorism or other kind of domestic violence among citizens. The analysis has been done on 167 countries on a scale from -2.5 to 2.5, the higher scores indicating better governance and lower scores indicating poor governance. Slovakia was ranked with 0.65 for the year 2004, being above Ukraine and Czech Republic below Hungary in terms of governance. (Please refer to Table 2 in Appendices, p.22)

Moreover, the quality of public service delivery is considered to be quite good in Slovakia, the country being ranked with 0.67, according to the government effectiveness concerning the implementation of policies and the delivery of public goods and services. Slovakia has a score closed to the ones of other European countries, but still below Hungary and Czech Republic. (Please refer to Table 3 in Appendices, p.22)

Moreover, Slovakia has got a score of 7.14 points on a scale of 0 to 10 in Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index. That puts Slovakia 45th place as a ‘flawed democracy’ out of 167 countries.

3.2 Corruption

For the year 2008, Transparency International ranked Slovakia 52th out of 180 countries in its Global Corruption Index, with a score of 5.0 on a scale of 0 (highly corrupted) to 10 (completely clean). Slovakia is below Czech Republic’s level of corruption, which positioned on the 45th place, but better positioned than most East-European countries like Russia, Romania and Bulgaria. Nevertheless, considering relatively low but actually high corruption rates; reforms and more effective laws are needed to have a clean environment for both citizens and investors. High level of corruption may be reduced via e-government applications which can also decrease administrative fees and charges. Current government has recently approved the new e-Government concept and made the first steps about this issue. For further information on how the corruption index for Slovakia has developed over the years, please refer to Table 4 in Appendices from p.22.

3.3 International relations

The Slovak Republic has improved significantly its relationship with Czech Republic since the breakup of the federal system in 1993. Relations with central and eastern European neighbors remain relatively good, although there have been some tensions with Hungary concerning the treatment of the ethnic Slovak minority in Hungary and the ethnic minority in the Slovak Republic. However, diplomatic efforts conducted by the Dzurinda coalition have managed to improve the relations between the two countries.

Slovakia is a member of European Union and NATO since 2004, which were at the top of Mikulas Dzurinda’s foreign policy agenda. There have been intense significant economic and political reforms applied by the Parliament in order to help the country meet the EU’s membership rules. Slovak Republic is member of many international organizations too including the United Nations, as well as of its specialized and regional agencies, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. The country joined to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Council of Europe and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)6 too. Moreover, Slovakia is party to the twelve international conventions and protocols pertaining to terrorism. It has also deployed around 100 troops to Iraq to participate in the global war against terrorism. However, in February 2007 Prime Minister Roberto Fico announced the withdrawn of the troops from Iraq.

4 Economical Overview

Slovak economy has been transformed from centrally planned economy into market economy. Economical indicators have been improving since 1999 via austerity programs. Simultaneous execution of austerity program, tax and social reforms enable the country to achieve stable growth. Current government has taken a healthy economy over from Dzurinda’s government. The policy of the current government indicates that the priority is to strengthen the social welfare. GDP growth was the highest rate within EU, with 10.4% in 20077, but it can be regarded as usual since Slovakia is relatively small country; therefore it can grow faster after its entrance to EU compared to a bigger country. Both domestic and foreign demand have had balanced shares in contributing to GDP growth during 2004-2007.

[...]


1 Country Watch, “Slovakia Country Review 2008”, p. 1

2 Data Monitor “Slovakia Country Profile 2007”, p. 4

3 Economist Intelligence Unit, “Slovakia Country Profile 2008”, p. 6

4 Economist Intelligence Unit, “Slovakia Country Profile 2007”, p. 4

5 CIA World Factbook, https:// www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/gh.html, retrieved November 10th, 2008

6 Country Watch, “Slovakia Country Review 2008”, p. 60

7 Economical Intelligence Unit Slovakia Country Profile 2008

Details

Seiten
26
Jahr
2009
ISBN (eBook)
9783640742004
ISBN (Buch)
9783640742066
Dateigröße
1.2 MB
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v158626
Institution / Hochschule
Fachhochschule Gießen-Friedberg; Standort Gießen
Note
1,7
Schlagworte
Slovakia Country Report

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Titel: Slovakia Country Report