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Slovak Republic  [2]  Context of EU policies and programmes

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Slovakia has a relatively strong R&D potential but its output quality is well behind the most developed countries. Thereby the main aim of "Competitiveness Strategy for Slovakia until 2010" (the National Lisbon Strategy) and the subsequent "Action Plan for Science, Research and Innovation", approved by the Slovak Government in July 2005, is to improve research, development and innovation systems to be comparable to the international standards. Implementing the Action Plan, the Slovak government was able to increase the amount of finances aimed at the support of science, research and innovation. This also enabled the Slovak people to profit from financial means from the EU funds (European Social Fund, EC Framework programmes for research, development and demonstrations, financial tools of EEC, European Science Foundation, etc.)

In 2004 and 2005, human resources development for R&D was a question of urgency in Slovakia. The year 2005 was marked by specific horizontal themes of the 6th Framework Programme. The best results were reached in the following topics: information society technology, nanotechnology and sustainable development. On the contrary, life science, genomics and biotechnology and health lagged behind, although these topics were the most successful in the 5th Framework Programme from the point of Slovak applicants. 

No directly VET/HRD related projects with Slovak participation are performed within 6th FP in contrast to two projects within 5th FP. This is caused predominantly by the change of priorities; the priority of human resource development has been removed and the only VET relevant priority within 6th FP is the priority “citizens and governance in a knowledge-based society”. On the other hand the "European Science Education Network 2003" coordinated by IUVENTA- NAFYM, an organisation managed by the Slovak Ministry of Education , has a strong VET related impulse due to the focus on young people up to the age of 18 and the enhancement their interest in science and technology.

A new initiative within the European Union known as “Researchers in Europe” was launched in 2005 to improve and promote public understanding of the important role researcher play in society. The Slovak Government agrees that this is to be a strategic point of the up-coming period and therefore declares its support for the mobility of researchers and for the creation of centres of excellence.

The implementation of the EU VET/HRD research initiatives at national level will release new policy developments in Slovakia, especially a quality base for networking is a key to success. Nevertheless, the involvement of Slovak VET/HRD researchers in European activities is insufficient. This is for instance evident  from an overview provided by the Research Forum Education and Society (WIFO) , where Slovakia is together with Latvia and Bulgaria among Europe’s worse performing countries (http://www.b.shuttle.de/wifo/vet-pr/CEEC05.pdf).

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Slovak Republic (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO