Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic

COORDINATION OF EU AFFAIRS

Membership in the EU at a national level requires drawing up national positions on European legislative proposal as well as non-legislative acts that are discussed at the Council of the EU (Council). These positions are binding for Slovak representatives when promoting our national interests at EU level (within the Council). Therefore, in Slovakia, the process of coordinating European affairs is identical to the decision-making process in the Council, as the following table shows:

Pursuant to Slovak law, a key role in the coordination of European affairs is performed by the executive branch, more specifically, by particular ministries and other central bodies of state administration, whereas the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs leads the process. 

The first level of European affairs coordination is represented by Sectorial coordination groups. These are expert advisory and coordinating bodies in European affairs, which were established compulsorily at all ministries and other central bodies of state administration upon joining the EU. The objective of the groups is to ensure coordinated preparation of positions on both legislative and non-legislative proposals discussed at working party meetings, representing the 1st level of the decision-making process in the Council.
To this end, the Group at the Ministry of the Environment brings together experts from particular departments, a representative of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (as a central coordinator) as well as other state administration bodies, in addition to civic organisations when the proposal concerns them. The group convenes regularly at the beginning of the month, once the monthly programme of the relevant working groups is made available.

The second, central and inter-sectorial level of European affairs coordination is represented by the Commission on European Affairs instituted at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs as a principal coordinator of European matters. Within the Commission, experts from particular ministries and other central bodies of state administration meet every week in order to adopt instructions for proposals debated at COREPER meetings, representing the 2nd level of the decision-making process in the Council. 

Besides the executive branch, the legislative body, the Slovak National Council (NR SR) is involved in this process through its Committee on European Affairs and assisted by experts from the Chancellery of the Slovak National Council. The NR SR is also authorised to adopt binding positions for Slovak representatives on all EU act proposals discussed at EU level.

In addition, the Coordination Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (CWGECC) has been set up at the Slovak Ministry of the Environment. The objective of its constitution was to establish a system of regular coordination between the Ministry and embassies of EU Member States in Slovakia on environmental and climate change issues debated within the Council. Therefore, the CWGECC convenes in advance of every Environment Council meeting (approximately 4 times a year). 

Last update 20/03/2015