Slovak Republic

The Slovak Republic currently works on implementing the RIA 2020 – Better Regulation Strategy adopted in 2018 that represents a comprehensive approach towards a whole-of-government regulatory policy focusing, among other issues, on improving both ex ante and ex post evaluation of regulations. So far, a draft methodology for ex post evaluation was approved in 2019 and underwent pilot testing, whilst a methodology for stakeholder engagement is currently being developed. In 2021, the government introduced a one-in, two-out approach for regulatory offsetting.

The obligation to conduct regulatory impact assessments has been in place since 2008 with reforms introducing a solid methodology for assessing economic, social and environmental impacts, including an SME Test and impacts on innovation in 2015. Despite these improvements and the analytical resources available to decision makers, in many cases Slovak ministries still struggle with the quantification of wider impacts, focusing mainly on budgetary impacts and impacts on businesses.

Procedures for public consultations in the later stage of the regulatory process are well developed, with automatic publication of all legislative documents on the government portal. The 2015 reforms made early-stage consultations more prominent, especially those with business associations. Ex post reviews of existing regulations have so far focused mostly on administrative burdens, with three “anti-bureaucratic packages” aimed at reducing administrative burdens for businesses in 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2020, 115 measures were introduced to reduce administrative burdens, for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The publication of the final methodology for ex post evaluation planned for later this year will introduce the requirement for more comprehensive reviews of existing legislation.

The Permanent Working Committee of the Legislative Council of the Slovak Republic at the Ministry of Economy (RIA Committee), established in 2015, is responsible for overseeing the quality of RIAs. Part of its mandate is quality control of stakeholder engagement. Several ministries, including the Ministry of Economy as a co-ordinator, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of the Interior and the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office for Investments and Informatisation, are represented in the Committee, as are the Government Office and the Slovak Business Agency. They share competencies for checking the quality of RIAs focusing on their respective area of competences.

Slovakia would benefit from further strengthening regulatory oversight by appointing one body close to the centre of government responsible for evaluating integrated impacts, rather than spreading the responsibility across several ministries, as is currently the case with the RIA Committee. This body could also take on the responsibility of evaluating the quality of ex post evaluations, once more comprehensive reviews will be mandatory with the introduction of the new methodology for ex post evaluation. Finally, the new ex post evaluation methodology could serve as a gateway to introducing targeted, in-depth reviews of existing regulations.

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