Let’s Create the Ministry of Business Environment in Slovakia

Kiwiev || Creative Commons

One of the objectives of the emerging government is to decrease the administrative burden. Although this goal is praiseworthy, it is much easier to put it on paper than to accomplish it. Many Ministers of Economy who set this as a priority when starting in their office could relate to the topic. In spite of their efforts, the administrative and regulative burden has been on a long-term increase. The key point is to understand why they have not succeeded and to find an answer to the fundamental question of who should have the responsibility and authority in the area of decreasing the administrative burden to finally reach the palpable results.

Not only the Ministers of Economy did not decrease the burden, they were not even able to prevent its further expansion. This was not, however, their personal failure. It is the matter of the system based on which the government operates. The Minister of Economy is only one of many co-equal ministers. The other ministers have their own agenda which often aggravates the entrepreneurial environment. Persuading to drop on their own priorities and give up to some other minister proved a very limp tool to decrease bureaucracy. Who then has the best opportunity to handle the agenda more successfully than the Ministers of Economy?

The first logical answer is: the Prime Minister. He has the highest competencies and tools to compel consistent fulfillment to decrease the administrative burden from the individual ministers. This is how it really works in many countries that are successful in the field. In Slovakia, however, this solution is questionable, as the Office of the Government is not currently the adequate office. It is not sufficiently staffed with experts on the issue and it objectively solves completely different matters. Exactly the same is observed with other candidates, like the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Justice. The public finance or the judiciary is quite a big portion for the Ministers of Finance and Justice to handle, therefore they do not have sufficient energy or time to fight with other departments, making them decrease the administrative burden.

And so let’s return to the Ministry of Economy. It also has various subjects in competency rather than just improving the entrepreneurial environment. And those usually highly dominate in the Minister’s daily agenda. Therefore the only reasonable solution to cover the decrease of administrative burden institutionally is to divide the Ministry into two. The Ministry of Business, Industry and Energetics would deal with the Ministry’s daily agenda. The Ministry of Business Environment, Minister of which would also be a Deputy Prime Minister, would be wholly competent for enforcement of the decrease in financial, legislative, regulatory and administrative burden on enterprises.

I can already see the ironic grins, since I suggest creating new bureaucracy to fight bureaucracy. By applying this suggestion, however, no new administration would be created. The existing one would be reorganized so there would be a clearly assigned authority and responsibility to accomplish this important priority. An advantage of this roposal is the creation of a new position for redistribution, which might be convenient during challenging coalition discussions.

Translated by Eva Majorská

Jan Oravec