Slovakia Sustainability Issues

The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Slovakia:

1. Waste Management

Slovakia is doing a poor job of managing its waste, at least according to the latest review by the European Commission. A study drawn up for EC lists Slovakia as being among those EU member countries with severe problems in several criteria including waste prevention policies, a below-average performance in waste management and insufficient adaptation of existing infrastructure to EU requirements. While some Slovak experts see Slovakia’s ranking as reflecting reality, the Slovak Ministry of Environment argues that Slovakia is actually performing better than the EC suggests.The report on how EU member states manage their municipal waste, drawn up by German consulting firm BiPRO for the European Commission, grades the EU’s 27 member states against 18 criteria, using green, orange and red flags in areas such as total waste recycled, pricing of waste disposal, and infringements of European legislation. In the top places according to this ranking came Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Greece, Bulgaria, Malta and Lithuania were at the bottom. Slovakia ended in 19th place, below the other three Visegrad Group countries (the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland).

 

2. Water Management

On the implementation of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, Slovakia had a   final deadline till 31st December 2015 to comply with the rules (as set in its Accession  Treaty). So far, the Commission has checked Slovakia’s compliance with the Accession  Treaty’s intermediate deadlines of 2004, 2008 and 2010. The 2016 Court of Auditors report ‘Danube river basin II: Quality of water’ stated that there is a lack of ambition in the Member States concerned including Slovakia to address causes of pollution. It stated that Member States are not using all the possibilities offered by the Nitrates Directive. The European Court Of Auditors also stated that there was progress made in implementing the water framework directive but it still had some way to go, in relation to the water quality in the Danube river basin. According  to  the  latest  data,  99.6%  of waste  water  is  collected  in  Slovakia.  Of  this,  97.9% undergoes secondary  treatment and  57.2%  undergoes  more  stringent treatment.

 

3. Noise Pollution

Based    on    a    limited    set    of    data, environmental   noise   causes   at   least   200   premature deaths per year in Slovakia and is responsible for around 500  hospital  admissions.  Noise  also  disturbs  the  sleep  of roughly 90,000 people in Slovakia. The implementation of the  Environmental  Noise  Directive  has  been  significantly delayed.  According  to  the  latest  full  set  of  information that  could  be  analysed,  (i.e.  2012  for  noise  maps  and 2013  for  action  plans)  noise  mapping  for  most  major roads  is  significantly  delayed  and  most  major  roads  and all  major  railways  are  still  missing  from  the  action  plans. 

 

4. Poverty

A total of 650,000 Slovaks (12.4 percent of the population) were threatened by poverty in 2017. Inhabitants of the Bratislava region have the lowest poverty risk (4.6 percent), but in the east of Slovakia the threat is three times as high – 18.1 percent in the Prešov Region and 15.5 percent in the Košice region. Three regions in western Slovakia are under the national poverty risk threshold, and the situation is stabilising in central Slovakia, but has been deteriorating in the east of the country.

The position on the labour market impacts the poverty risk the most, with the unemployed at the highest risk (49.5 percent, a rise in 1.5 percentage points against the previous year).

 

5. Gender Discrimination

The Gender Equality Index, 2015 was presented in Bratislava. It scrutinises the situation in six basic areas (profession, finances, knowledge, time, power and health) while quantifying the difference between women and men in EU member states. Based on this information, the Index allocated scores from one to 100 points where 1 means total unequality and 1000 absolute gender equality. With its average score of 36.5 points, Slovakia was beaten only by Romania as the country with top inequality. The Gender Equality Index 2015 maps development between 2005 and 2012. Slovakia placed worst (17.7 point) in time: only eight percent of men and 62 percent of women cook and do household chores for at least an hour a day. Thus, the primary household and family care still falls on women.