REVIEW #18: Family Policy in Slovakia Needs Goals

Family policy has become a universal content of election programs of all parties. In this area, the parties unanimously offer increases in public spending, regardless of the added value of the increase. However, over the last year, family policy spending has increased by almost half, putting undue pressure on the budget deficit. In the following text, we present an analytical model that allows us to reassess the generosity of family policy.

There are three traditional narratives in the political discussion on family policy in Slovakia. Most of the political spectrum can identify with at least one of them:

1) We have to increase the fertility rate and bring it back to a nation sustaining level of 2.1 children per woman.

2) We have to promote family as a traditional, core value, it will secure a moral and just society.

3) We have to support women and promote their employment to decrease their payment and pension gap[1].

All three of these narratives are emotionally loaded, as they stem from specific assumptions about the proper wellbeing of a society. These assumptions can be roughly identified as nationalistic, conservative (religious), and progressive. The first group may also include a ‘fiscal’ group of politicians who pursue sustainability of the pension system.


This framing is necessary for understanding the incentives of politicians, and the differences in policy tools applied in the area of family policy. Nevertheless, what these politicians often have in common is the unwillingness to quantify the goals of their policies. Specifically, nationalistic and progressive narratives could be easily quantified. One could raise the objection that the real effect of selected policies could often be observed after several years, and the period may extend well beyond the election period. But even with this argument, it makes sense to guide family policies on the basis of existing historical data.

[1] Institute of Financial Policy of the Ministry of Finance SR (2018) Bariéry zamestnanosti žien – matiek. Ako na ne?. Available [online]: [in Slovak]


Single Page-Review18   

Double Page-Review18 

Radovan Durana