2016 Was Not the Year of De-Bureaucratization in Slovakia

ant.photos via flickr || Creative Commons

Our tragedy is that the last time the improvement of business environment was a true priority of the government was before the entry of Slovakia into the European Union. Since then, we were witnesses to four cabinets and a never-ending worsening of the business environment. The year 2016 gave us a new cabinet, but no significant change for the better.

The fact is that the Slovak government is losing the tools for influencing the economy. The monetary policy has been done in Frankfurt since 2009. The European Central Bank does not adjust its policies to the needs of Slovak economy. The budgetary and tax policy is going to be done in Brussels as well. The newest suggestion from the European Union about a consolidative base of the income tax proves that the tax policy is increasingly more under the harmonization pressure. Moreover, the Ministry of Finance has been showing its absolute impotency for more than a decade, as it was not able to produce a single try for any ambitious project on improving the attractiveness of the business environment. The tax policies of the government are mostly about finding new ways of generating income, which are later used to cover the increasingly bigger spending.

The biggest disappointment is associated with the total inability of all the cabinets to effectively prevent the increase of bureaucracy and administrative load. Paradoxically, it is an area which could be improved upon the most. Part of today’s general disgust with political elites is the increasing disappointment of entrepreneurs with the countless declarations and promises of members of several cabinets, which remained just on paper. The new cabinet did not yet manage to regain the trust either.

When the improvement is nowhere to be seen, it is sensible to fight even for partial improvements. An initiative of such kind is a project devoted to identifying a bureaucratic absurdity of the year, the fifth round of which ends around this time. Among the candidates are for example fines for entrepreneurs if his or her distributor employs people illegally, the necessity to register entrepreneurs in the Ministry if they give out plastic bags or the duty to approve photos made by a drone.

Already on the basis of this random list, it is obvious that in the year 2016 the government did not beat the bureaucracy. Because of that, if you are a Slovak citizen, feel free to assist us in sending the signal to the political elites that things are not okay by voting on the website byrokratickynezmysel.sk. By doing so you will show that not solving problems with senseless bureaucracy angers you and you want the government to start a serious de-bureaucratization process after years of non-fulfilled promises.

Translated by Filip Bolčo

Jan Oravec