Eurogroup statement on the updated draft budgetary plan of Slovakia for 2024

We welcome the submission of the updated draft budgetary plan (DBP) for 2024 of Slovakia on 12 December 2023, as well as the Commission´s Opinion published on 16 January 2024.

We note that the budget was passed into law on 21 December 2023, shortly after the submission of the updated DBP and ahead of the publication of the Commission Opinion. In this respect we recall that the Two Pack Code of Conduct requires Member States to submit their DBPs well in advance of the envisaged budget approval by the national Parliament, allowing the Commission to issue an opinion and the Eurogroup to have a discussion on this basis, before the budget adoption. In this case, Slovakia’s submission did not respect the Two-Pack Code of Conduct, due to the decision to have a budget in place before the year-end and to avoid operating under a provisional budget and the related uncertainty following elections over the autumn. We recall the importance of adhering to the Two Pack Code of Conduct requirements.

We agree with the Commission assessment, which points to the risk of the updated DBP of Slovakia being not in line with the fiscal recommendations of the Council from July 2023. The Eurogroup invites Slovakia to consider in a timely manner and as necessary to take action to address the risks identified by the Commission to ensure that fiscal policy is in line with the recommendations adopted by the Council and welcomes Slovakia’s commitment to follow-up as needed, including during the implementation of its 2024 budget.

We recall the Commission’s intentions regarding deficit-based Excessive Deficit Procedures and, in line with our December statement on the DBPs, we encourage Slovakia and other Member States with deficits above 3% of GDP to take the necessary measures.

The Eurogroup will continue to closely monitor economic and fiscal developments regularly and reinforce its policy coordination.