Slovakia is a parliamentary democratic republic with a head of government - the prime minister - who holds the most executive power and a head of state - the president - who is the formal head of the executive, but with very limited powers. The country is subdivided into 8 regions, each named after its principal city. These have been given a certain degree of autonomy since 2002.
The most important sectors of Slovakia’s economy in 2016 were industry (27.3 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (21.6 %) and public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (13.4 %).
Intra-EU trade accounts for 85% of Slovakia’s exports (Germany 22%, Czechia 12% and Poland 8%), while outside the EU 2% each go to the United States, Russia and China.
In terms of imports, 80% come from EU countries (Germany 20%, Czechia 17% and Austria 10%), while outside the EU 5% come from South Korea and 4% from Russia.
In the Council of the EU, national ministers meet regularly to adopt EU laws and coordinate policies. Council meetings are regularly attended by representatives from the Slovakian government, depending on the policy area being addressed.
The Council of the EU doesn't have a permanent, single-person president (like e.g. the Commission or Parliament). Instead, its work is led by the country holding the Council presidency, which rotates every 6 months.
During these 6 months, ministers from that country's government chair and help determine the agenda of Council meetings in each policy area, and facilitate dialogue with the other EU institutions.
Dates of Slovakian presidencies:
The following link is a redirection to an external websiteCurrent presidency of the Council of the EU
The Commission is represented in each EU country by a local office, called a "representation".
Slovakia has 9 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee. This advisory body – representing employers, workers and other interest groups – is consulted on proposed laws, to get a better idea of the possible changes to work and social situations in member countries.
Slovakia has 9 representatives on the European Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of regional and local representatives. This advisory body is consulted on proposed laws, to ensure these laws take account of the perspective from each region of the EU.
Slovakia also communicates with the EU institutions through its permanent representation in Brussels. As Slovakia's "embassy to the EU", its main task is to ensure that the country's interests and policies are pursued as effectively as possible in the EU.
Member countries' financial contributions to the EU budget are shared fairly, according to means. The larger your country's economy, the more it pays – and vice versa. The EU budget doesn't aim to redistribute wealth, but rather to focus on the needs of all Europeans as a whole.
Breakdown of Slovakia’s finances with the EU in 2017:
More figures on the EU budget, revenue and spending:
The money paid into the EU budget by Slovakia helps fund programmes and projects in all EU countries - like building roads, subsidising researchers and protecting the environment.
Find out more about how Slovakia benefits from EU funding.