The first complete draft of Slovakia’s Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) was published on 8 March 2021. Civil society groups were able to participate in a limited way in stakeholder groups during the very early development phase of the plan, but it is unclear how the results of these consultations were implemented. Overall, we find that the measures included in the draft plan, with investments equaling 6.5% of Slovakia’s GDP (2019), are likely to make a positive contribution to the green transition.
The Slovak RRP includes a “Green Economy” category with five components, which include many promising measures, such as investments in energy efficiency, renewable energies, and industry decarbonization. However, there are still areas of concerns, such as support for fossil gas boilers included in the energy efficiency pillar. Furthermore, while the plan’s exclusion of support for fossil power generation is in line with EU green transition requirements, the €220m allocated to renewable energy generation are insufficient to fully exploit the potential of renewables for a green recovery, especially after years of legal restrictions on the expansion of renewables. The actual effect of the plan thus depends on whether its implementation will be accompanied by other measures, and whether there will be additional reforms to align national planning with the target of climate neutrality by 2050. Lastly, given Slovakia’s relatively poor track record in using EU funds, ensuring the outlined measures are implemented successfully may be a challenge in itself.
We find that Slovakia’s draft recovery plan (RRP) achieves a green spending share of 30%, below the EU’s 37% climate spending benchmark.
Our calculation of the green spending share aims to mirror the approach used for the official assessment of national recovery plans (find more information here).
*Our analysis covers the draft Recovery and Resilience Plan that was officially released in March 2021. The report was written by Felix Heilmann (E3G) and Juraj Melichar (CEE Bankwatch Network). We are grateful to Marcel Glasa (Friends of the Earth-CEPA), Lucia Szabova (Concerned Mothers), Dana Marekova (Green Restart), Jan Karaba (SAPI), Pavol Fabry (Greenpeace Slovakia), Jozef Ridzon (SOS Birdlife, Slovakia), Dan Kollar (Cycling Coalition), Liliana Rastocka (Slovak Climate Initiative) and Johanna Lehne (E3G) for providing valuable inputs.
EU-wide guidance encouraged the national ministries involved in the drafting of the national recovery plan to support more climate-related measures. Furthermore, it is positive that the Environment Ministry is set to oversee the implementation of measures on industry decarbonization and the renovation of family houses.
Alongside many positive measures, a program to improve the energy efficiency of 40,000 family houses in Slovakia includes €50m for investments into fossil gas boilers, even though cleaner solutions, which could contribute to tackling the dual challenges of heat decarbonization and tackling energy poverty, are available.
The draft plan released on 8 March 2021 was submitted for the required official public consultation at a relatively early stage in order to achieve agreement among ministries and coalition parties. This could prove to be problematic later on as the legislative process requires that consultations on official documents are only held in the final stage of their development.