In the opinion of the EU’s Cohesion policy, Slovakia’s key challenges in order to keep pace with the EU's action and development plan for the years 2007-2013, the so-called Lisbon strategy include:
Infrastructure and regional accessibility: building and modernisation of public infrastructure to improve the availability of infrastructure in the regions and raise the efficiency of the related public services. The focus is on transport, environmental, educational and social infrastructure and urban renewal. Knowledge economy: supporting the development of a knowledge-based economy via investments in electronic services and content, research and development and support of competitiveness of companies and of services through innovation. Human resources and education: support to human resources development will be aimed at employment growth, improvement of the quality of workforce and human capital for the needs of the knowledge-based economy and increase of social inclusion of disadvantaged groups.
Slovakia’s economic performance over the last 8 years has outpaced its peers and that of the established EU economies. By joining the euro, it can be argued that Slovakia has been protected to some degree from the worser impacts of the economic crisis although only time will tell if this is true. Nevertheless the economy is not reeling from the impact of the negative growth in 2009, the first year of such, but seems to have take the opportunity to have a well-deserved break after 8 years of dynamic movement. The focus is now very much on achieving lower but more sustainable growth levels in 2010 and going forward.
Given Slovakia’s dependence however on its foreign investments, Slovakia’s economic future is still quite dependent on events beyond its borders. The challenge for Slovakia moving forward is to meet some of its more internal challenges, such as the distribution of wealth across its regions, minority rights and developing a domestic demand base. The elections in 2010 will also be a key event in determining Slovakia’s mid-to long term economic future. Nevertheless, as a destination for investment in these cautious times, Slovakia is better positioned than many other European countries, both east and west.