Remisova: Slovakia to Lose €81 mn That Might Have Helped Scientists

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MP Veronika Remisova (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, March 20 (TASR) – Slovakia will lose millions that could have been used by scientists and universities, opposition OLaNO party MP Veronika Remisova told a news conference on Wednesday, adding that Slovakia will lose €81 million due to failures in drawing EU funds.

“Last year Slovakia lost €27 million, so we will have lost €108 million in total,” stated Remisova, adding that this year Slovakia could lose an additional €100 million that might have been used for research and development.

According to Remisova, only 9.7 percent of the total sum since 2014 has been drawn from the Science and Research Operational Programme. “The drawing of money in all operational programmes is poor, but in Science and Research it’s disastrous,” she said.

“Financial resources will again be drawn on a massive scale in the final two years of the programme period, with meaningless projects again supported,” said Remisova. According to her, more than one year of preparation is needed for a high-quality scientific or research project, not only a few weeks or months.

Remisova said that she’ll ask Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini (Smer-SD) what specific steps the Government plans take in order to address shortcomings in drawing EU funds.

Remisova offered three solutions in this regard. “Public money should only be provided to those who’ve already proven something. We should support firms that have innovation potential and invest their own money in science and research. We propose that the state should give them a maximum of double the sum they’ve invested from their own money,” she stated.

Remisova sees a second problem in ineffective allocations. According to her, Education, Science, Research and Sport Minister Martina Lubyova (a Slovak National Party/SNS nominee) is giving a large portion of the money to organisations under the remit of her own ministry, such as the Centre of Scientific and Technical Information (CVTI). “We propose that every national project amounting to more than €5 million should be evaluated by the Value for Money Section,” said Remisova.

A third problem is that Lubyova first gives out money and only then examines where it should be invested, said Remisova.