Rule of Law

Rule of Law (RoL) is an initiative that was created in 2014 by the business community and looks at the issues relating to the functioning of Slovakia as a state of law. The business community consists of business and employers’ associations, chambers of commerce which they want to react professionally and objectively on the worsening state of the judiciary, lack of a transparent and systematic legislative process and higher tolerance level of corruption in Slovakia through this initiation.

During the operation of the Rule of Law, the following partners organizations took part in the initiative:

  • American Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic
  • Federation of employers’ associations of the Slovak Republic
  • British Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic
  • Business Leaders Forum
  • France – Slovak Chamber of Commerce
  • Dutch Chamber of Commerce in the Slovak Republic
  • Club 500
  • Business Alliance of Slovakia
  • The National Union of Employers
  • Slovak Compliance Circle
  • Slovak Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SLOVCA)
  • Slovak Banking Association
  • Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Slovak-German Chamber of Industry and Commerce
  • Slovak-Austrian Chamber of Commerce
  • Swedish Chamber of Commerce
  • Association of Entrepreneurs of Slovakia

A major milestone in the Rule of Law Initiative was the adoption of a position paper in 2015. The position paper is the result of the work of expert working groups consisting of experts from individual associations and their member firms. The position paper identified the main issues and suggested sets of recommendations and specific actions. This document was submitted to the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Parliament for discussion and subsequent implementation. In order to meet the proclaimed objectives of the Rule of Law initiative, 3 main areas of the initiative have been defined.

Main fields of initiative:

  1. Transparency and predictability of the legislative process – in this field, they are focusing on issues related to a systematic approach to communication with representatives of the business environment, impact assessment studies and the introduction of a transparent mechanism for commenting on Members’ proposals.
  2. Corruption as a negative and harmful factor for the reputation of Slovakia – Slovakia is rated as a country with a high level of corruption in the world. Corruption threatens the rule of law, negatively affects the decency and social justice of the country, affects costs of business and deters potential investors.
  3. A transparent and efficient judiciary as a solid base for domestic and foreign investors – transparent and effective justice is an essential element of a stable and predictable business environment according to the business community. They analyze problems with the long duration of legal disputes in Slovakia, which limit the investment possibilities of the company and the unpredictability of rulings by courts so that they can propose options for professional solutions.

The Rule of Law initiative actively participates in various discussions, panels and prepares proposals for solutions, opinions and challenges concerning its main pillars.

The Rule of Law initiative, through its partner organizations, is also actively involved in drafting legislation.

Through its activities, the initiative seeks to draw the attention of top public sector representatives to the issue of improving the business environment.

Recent activities of initiative:

Member organizations of the Rule Law Initiative addressed a call to the new Slovak government to ensure Slovakia remains a competitive economy. They prepared a set of 20 recommendations aimed at improving the rule of law in Slovakia as well as developing the human capital of our country.

Shortly after the new government took office, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Sulík met with AmCham representatives, partners organization of Rule of Law. During the introductory meeting, members of AmCham BoD addressed key pillars for the competitiveness of the Slovak economy including rule of law, support of innovations, digital economy transformation or the significance of the shared service industry in Slovakia. Inevitably the discussion did not avoid crucial topics of human capital development, including flexibility of the Labour Code and quality of education.

Public Procurement experts from the member organizations of the Rule of Law Initiative completed a working meeting with the management of the Public Procurement Office. The topic was the presentation of a draft amendment to the Public Procurement Act from the Public Procurement Office and feedback on it.

Representatives of the Rule of Law Initiative (M. Kissa, M. Jacko, J. Kutan, M. Krčméry) held working meeting with representatives of the Government Office within preparation for the update of the National Anti-Corruption Program. The discussion mainly concerned the recommendations from the so-called Ten Commandments for a fair and predictable environment. The program, originally approved by a government resolution in November 2019, also requires active cooperation with the Rule of Law Initiative in several areas.

The member organizations of the Rule of Law Initiative took part in a video conference with representatives of the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic (R. Paľa, P. Kubin, S. Gaňa, A. Schulcz). In the discussion, they drew attention to the increasingly frequent cases of violations of the rules of the legislative process, which, despite the pandemics, have no rational justification and have a negative impact on the business environment.

17 business associations and chambers of commerce united in the Rule of Law Initiative gave a statement that they are deeply concerned with frequent recent breaches of standard legislative procedures. They called on the Slovak Government as well as the members of the National Council to respect the rules as well as an open discussion on improvements in the legislative process that were presented by the Rule of Law Initiative in the 10 Commandments for a stable and predictable environment.

Another activity in December was the participation of representatives of the Rule of Law Initiative (M. Jacko, G. Šaturová and M. Krčméry) in a videoconference with experts from the OECD. The topic was the current state of the rule of law in Slovakia and private sector activities in the fight against corruption.

Recently, the member organizations of the initiative have been involved in commenting on the amendment to the Public Procurement Act and the Act on Judicial Protection in Public Procurement.

You can find more activities of the initiative and the latest news at http://www.pravnystat.sk/

Photos:

Trust in Rule of Law conference, June 2019:

Pre-election debate „How to boost the competitiveness of Slovakia“ (with focus on rule of law and human capital) with representatives of 6 political parties, Dec 2019 :

If you are a member of the SCC and would like to participate in one of the activities,please contact Katarína Bairová

If you are not a member of the SCC, but would like to support us in one of the activities, or you have suggestions for us, please use our contact form.

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