ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CRISIS AND ENERGETICS

Our society is facing global crises that threaten life on the Earth – climate crisis and biodiversity decline crises. They are the result of population growth, increased consumption and destruction of natural ecosystems.

The present way of life generates a number of environmental problems: we are producing a lot of waste, polluting air and sources of drinking water. In cities, we prefer concrete to greenery and produce food using a number of artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

The climate crisis is the biggest challenge that humanity must face today. We consider it necessary to do everything to limit warming to a maximum of 1.5 ° C. We will start Slovakia’s transition to a carbon-free economy and ensure that the country can better adapt to change. We will mitigate the impact of the climate crisis on the country and society, in particular on the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events such as heat, floods and droughts.

We cannot respond to the difficult challenges of the 21st century, profound changes across our society and economy, affecting people’s quality of life, by the policies and instruments of the previous century. We want Slovakia, which will reflect the changed needs of society, will contribute to the solution of the climate crisis and to the protection of biodiversity.

We propose a breakthrough in strengthening the role of the Ministry of Environment, extending its political importance and powers to include, for example, forestry and energetics. We would like to express this change symbolically and practically by renaming it to the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change and Energetics of SR. We are convinced that only in this way will we be able to successfully meet the challenges ahead.

We want Slovakia ready for the 21st century, which will reflect the changed needs of society, which will contribute to addressing the climate crisis and to protecting biodiversity.

  1. CLIMATE CRISIS

1.1. State of climate emergency
  • We will prepare a law to declare a state of climate emergency. It will adjust and prioritize the country’s heading towards a carbon-free economy and adaptation to climate change.

  • We will also ensure compliance of all policies and financial support of the state, state organizations and state-owned companies with the climate objectives. In the adaptation measures, we will involve the long-term unemployed in the form of an inclusive labor market (see the section on EMPLOYMENT).

  • All the new laws and public investment will have to be considered in terms of their impact on greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to climate change. In practice, this will mean ending support for greenhouse gas emissions-raising activities, phasing out support mechanisms with a negative impact on emissions, and redirecting support to mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

1.2. The transition to a carbon-free economy
  • We will update and unify the transition strategies to a carbon-free economy into a cross-sectoral strategy so that the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is consistent with keeping warming at 1.5 ° C.

  • We will increase support for energy savings and the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix. We will carry out an analysis of carbon flows between soil and atmosphere for the territory of Slovakia and we will support measures that protect the carbon stock in soil and ensure its further accumulation (see also the chapter  on TRANSPORT).

1.3. Protection from heavy rainfall and drought
  • We will protect, maintain and spread nature-close forests, restore watercourses and wetlands, promote diversity of land cover structure and protect coastal stand.

  • We will introduce a subsidy program for capturing and use of rainwater and wastewater in homes and gardens for owners of family houses and apartment buildings.

  • We will ensure that the missing methodologies and standards for rainwater management are adopted and adjusted. In the car park regulations, we will increase their coverage by trees, drain rainwater into terrain depressions, and remove the obligation of water-impermeable surfaces for car parks.

  • We will introduce an environmental hierarchy and measures for the management of rainwater in the implementing regulations to the Building Act. Rainwater should preferably be dealth with by surface soaking or trapping and subsequent use at the point where it has fallen. We will introduce a new regulation of maximum impermeability in spatial planning, which will improve the protection and development of green infrastructure in spatial planning.

  • We will reduce losses in water distribution networks by improving the leakage detection system and ensuring that measures are taken to significantly reduce water losses by leaks.

  • We will ensure the passportization of the shut down water resources in terms of the possibility of revitalization and putting into operation again. We will tighten the protection of water resources.

  • Infrastructure measures, such as the construction of flood barriers, polders, increase or control of runoff through minor hydrotechnical measures, will only be supported in locations where ecosystem solutions are insufficient and environmental impacts are minimized.

1.4. Protection against more frequent and intense heat
  • We will respond to increased average temperatures, frequency and intensity of heat by stricter protection of greenery. We will supplement the Nature Protection Act with compensatory measures in the case of interference with greenery. Legal entities planning activities that permanently damage or reduce the area of ​​greenery will have to take measures to adequately create new greenery.

  • We will develop a new law to improve the protection and development of greenery in settlements. We will create a framework for municipalities to create generally binding regulations that will enable them to set the conditions of territorial development in terms of protecting people and property from the anticipated consequences of climate change.

  • By 2024, we will ensure the planting of at least 100,000 tree species in towns and villages in Slovakia, of which at least 25,000 trees will be planted by citizens themselves. We will focus on the places where the most vulnerable groups live – the elderly, children and low-income groups.

  • By 2024, we will ensure the increase of greenery in towns and villages in Slovakia. We will involve the inhabitants and restore 50 ha of greenery, school, therapeutic, historical parks, greenery in the streets, we will create 50 ha of greenery on the roofs and facades of buildings and 20 ha for urban agriculture. We will focus on the places where the most vulnerable groups live – the elderly, children and low-income groups.

1.5. More robust support
  • We will adapt the legislation of land-use planning and construction activities to support climate change adaptation measures.

  • We will improve the framework and methodological guidelines to support the renovation of buildings so that their renovation is comprehensive and conceptual, taking into account mitigation measures and adaptation to climate change.

  • We will take measures to address the problem of inability to use the European funds for the renovation of public buildings in the Bratislava Region, apart from other things by creating systematic support from Envirofond.

 

  1. NATIONAL PARKS AND FORESTS FOR PEOPLE

Forests are an important part of the Slovak landscape and they play a key role in environmental protection. The current management method does not take into account the changed needs and expectations of our society. The production function of forests dominates at the expense of other functions such as flood and drought prevention, biodiversity protection, climate change mitigation and the development of natural tourism.

Outdated management practices have negative impacts on the ecological stability of forests (high proportion of major windthrows) as well as on the forestry economy. Corruption and clientelism exacerbate these impacts. The present condition, with minimal impact of the Ministry of Environment, has proved unsustainable and it is a major obstacle to any systemic change. For the successful implementation of our program, it is important to delegate the state administration of forestry, including state-owned enterprises managing forests, to the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change and Energetics of the Slovak Republic.

2.1. National park administration reform
  • State land in national parks will be managed by national park administration. Today they are managed by Lesy SR (Forests of SR) or other organizations of the Ministry of Agriculture, which have other priorities than nature protection.

  • National park administrations will have their own separate legal personality and will be state authorities. This measure will strengthen their independence. Today, they are just a professional organization that issues opinions but does not make any decisions.

2.2. Five percent without intervention
  • We will ensure that the total area of ​​strictly protected areas without any human intervention reaches at least 5 percent of the area of ​​Slovakia.

  • We will increase contributions for private forest owners to compensate for property damage for nature protection reasons up to € 30 million per year. These resources will be also used to pay for ecosystem services.

  • We will reform the State Nature Protection of the Slovak Republic – we will change the way of its financing and we will strengthen the staffing.

  • We will link the protection of national parks with the development of regions so that they are active promoters of the development of natural tourism.

  • We will introduce regulated entry to some national park sites with an entry fee.

2.3. Forests for people
  • State forestry policy will be the issue of the Ministry of Environment, including state forestry enterprises.

  • Management will be focused on non-production functions of forests. We will allocate resources to rebuild forest stand to increase its age and species diversity. This would strengthen the stability and fulfillment of forest functions, including water retention, carbon withdrawal from atmosphere and biodiversity protection. Protection of protective forests will also be a priority – avoiding tree felling and road construction.

  • We will transform the forests of the Slovak Republic into 26 independent enterprises with their own separate legal personality, whose owners will be towns and villages in the regions according to the number of their inhabitants. We will ensure that businesses cannot be privatized, even indirectly. This measure will strengthen the participation of local people in forest management decisions.

  • We will reduce the political impact on forest management and the impact of oligarchs on timber trade. We will introduce a timber trade control application that will be accessible to the public. Its purpose will be to minimize illegal logging.

2.4. Greenery in settlements
  • We will create conditions to increase the area and quality of greenery in settlements. We will improve the protection and care of road greenery.

  • We will align the Act on Roads with the Act on Nature and Landscape Protection – in the built-up area of ​​the municipality, the trees will be a part of a unified Document on the Care of Trees, regulated by the Act on Nature and Landscape Protection.

  • Through the Envirofond programs and by modifying the framework for the creation of generally binding regulations for towns and municipalities, we will support the conversion of small, unused and neglected areas into greenery, the creation of vegetation roofs, walls and vegetation elements for rainwater management.

  • We will support the creation of community gardens, the planting of fruit trees, especially in socially deprived areas, and the creation of therapeutic gardens in healthcare facilities.

 

  1. LIVE RIVERS, WATER PROTECTION

3.1. We will revitalize watercourses
  • We will put in place measures to improve the hydromorphological properties of watercourses (water retention in the landscape, nature-friendly solutions including inundations, removal of inappropriate small-scale hydropower plants).

  • We will revitalize wetlands and selected stretches of watercourses (remove barriers and dams, restore shoulders and original channels). We will use land consolidation so that state lands and lands of unknown owners are close to watercourses and thus property rights do not prevent the restoration of river ecosystems.

3.2. Appropriate flood protection
  • We will change the legislation so that the interventions in flood protection measures are proportionate to the consequences they are supposed to protect against, that the interventions in protected areas are subject to the consent of the nature conservation authority and to facilitate access to flood-prone municipalities for flood-stricken municipalities.

  • We will intensify inspection activities to comply with the construction ban and review the rules for designating flood areas of watercourses as important elements in flood and drought prevention.

3.3. New water policy
  • We will adopt a new, sustainable water policy in Slovakia that will ensure sufficient drinking water in all regions as well as good condition of waters.

  • We will prepare and implement the framework document Plan of Revitalization and Renaturation of Slovak Watercourses, which will focus on the protection and management of aquatic species and habitats, restoration of ecosystem functions of flood areas of watercourses including bottomland forests, wetlands and meadows.

  • We will create and make available a register of valid permits for water works and permits for special water use, including permits for water abstraction and discharge.

  • We will supplement the system of NATURA 2000 protected areas with rare areas with the subject of protection of aquatic species and habitats.

3.4. Stop to new large dams
  • When planning and deciding on projects with an impact on the condition of waters, we will introduce the assessment of ecosystem services as a standard tool for assessing the effectiveness of public investments.

  • We will not continue in the preparation and enforcement of large dams that are contrary to the intervention logic of the Water Framework Directive.

  • We will transfer capacities and financial resources to projects for the rehabilitation and protection of floodplains (inundations) and for the increase in the storage capacity of the existing reservoirs.

3.5. More effective protection, control and prevention
  • We will make the control and prevention system more effective. We will increase the human, technical and professional capacities of the Slovak Environmental Inspectorate and ensure more consistent application of sanctions for violations in the area of ​​water protection.

  • In the case of danger to groundwater resources and in protected water management areas, we will prohibit the use of pollutants in agriculture, forestry and the like.

  • In the case of forest management restrictions in order to protect drinking water resources, we will use compensation from the National Natural Heritage Fund.

  • We will encourage the use of nature-friendly and innovative infrastructure for wastewater treatment. We will introduce a support mechanism for households in municipalities without central sewerage, motivating citizens to develop decentralized solutions (e.g. waste water root cleaning systems).

 

  1. AIR PROTECTION

4.1. Better control, more information
  • We will increase the scope of local air pollution monitoring, focusing on the most polluted areas identified by the analysis of the risk of air pollution impacts.

  • We will ensure the deployment of more monitoring stations for relevant pollutants.

  • We will start applying more precise qualitative chemical analyses of fine dust particles that will reflect the sources of pollution and help to identify the hazards of these particles, which often carry different chemicals.

  • We will introduce the monitoring and regulation of odours from industrial plants that are inconvenient for people in the neighborhood.

  • We will improve the availability of information and data on air pollution. We will improve the availability of factual (air quality) and practical (health effects) information related to air pollution (see also the chapter  HEALTH SLOVAKIA).

4.2. Sectoral air pollution
  • We will ensure the application of the best available EU-wide emission technologies in individual sectors.

  • We will enforce the legislative framework for more efficient treatment of emissions of combustion energy installations, including medium-sized sources of pollution, with a view to achieving EU eco-design standards for EU combustion plants by 2025.

  • We will ensure the implementation of the recently approved termination of coal mining and electricity production in Slovakia without delay and with a focus on the social and environmental sensitivity of the transformation of the Horná Nitra region.

  • We will prepare Slovakia for the end of domestic coal combustion by supporting environmentally friendly energy sources, with a temporary exception for automatic coal-fired boilers with the EU ecodesign emission standard.

 

  1. FROM WASTE DUMPS TO CIRCULAR MANAGEMENT

5.1. Waste management hierarchy in practice
  • Through legislative, economic, planning tools, establishing a framework for public administration activities, promoting ecodesign and education, we will support waste prevention, recycling and, finally, incineration using energy and landfilling.

5.2. Waste prevention
  • By eliminating unnecessary legislative barriers and incentive financing instruments, we will create measures for the development of packaging-free distribution, environmentally friendly packaging, domestic and community composting of biowaste, reuse of packaging and products, as well as measures to reduce the harmfulness of waste already during its production.

  • We will limit the use of disposable products and packaging with a focus on plastic packaging to reduce multiple and unnecessary packaging.

5.3. Paying by amount of waste
  • We will support the extension of so-called volume collection – paying for waste, in which the amount of the fee corresponds to the amount of mixed waste produced, involvement in separated waste collection – to other towns and municipalities in Slovakia. We will do this by reducing the bureaucratic burden in the Waste Act and setting the fee rates in the Local Taxes Act and the local municipal waste charge.

5.4. We will encourage recycling
  • We will consider fiscal and other support options for selected products from recycled materials. The professional criteria for the inclusion of the product on the list of products from recycled materials and the list itself will be compiled and updated by the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change and Energetics of SR.

  • We will support recycling and use of recycled material in subsidy programs. By using investment incentives, we will support the development and stabilization of the recycling business.

  • As a part of mandatory green procurement, we will ensure that the state administration purchases a certain proportion of products from recycled materials.

  • In legislation on waste, we will ensure that specifications and assessment standards are supplemented so that manufacturers are economically motivated to change their packaging materials towards more recyclable alternatives.

5.5. Illegal landfills, old burdens
  • We will adopt legislative, economic and planning measures to reduce the pollution of environment through illegal waste handling. We will increase penalties for illegal waste handling and strengthen the control activity of state authorities. We will improve the availability of collecting yards.

  • We will increase the allocation of both financial funds and EU funds to speed up the removal of old environmental burdens.

5.6. Better separate collection
  • We will improve recycling services so that citizens have more accessible collection containers and waste separation is more convenient.

  • We will change the Waste Act along the lines of the most successful EU countries so that municipalities are the basis for a system of financial support for separate collection by producers, with the responsibility for product recycling to be borne by producers. We will eliminate the shortcomings of support for separate collection in municipalities, such as time discrepancies, increase the scope of collection infrastructure and its quality so as to end its underfinancing.

  • We will take legislative measures to ensure that each town and municipality achieves at least the level of separation of municipal waste for recycling, as follows for Slovakia from EU legislation.

5.7. Reform of fees
  • If practice and expert analyzes show that the currently agreed level of landfill charges is not sufficient, we will increase the fee to a value where expert analyses demonstrate the impact on the necessary landfill reduction. At the same time, we will take measures in legislation so that the increase in fees is not disproportionately passed on to low-income groups of the population.

  • We will reform fees to use them for nature conservation and environmental services for permanent land take in the construction, capture and destruction of habitats, exploration and mining areas, and extracted minerals, water abstraction and discharge, water use for energy production and the like.

  • We will establish transparent and objective criteria for the redistribution of funds received from landfill charges under the new system for the redistribution of these charges to the Environmental Fund, in order to prevent them from being corrupt or ineffective.

5.8. Deposits, biodegradable waste
  • We will introduce the deposits on plastic and metal beverage containers into practice and delete provisions that currently restrict the convenience of the deposit system for consumers and may reduce the recycling rate achieved.

  • We will reduce the throwing out of safe food from restaurants and supermarkets. We will simplify the rules for donating or handing over food, reviewing legislation on minimum consumption.

  • We will support the construction of composting and biogas stations based on anaerobic digestion. We will adjust the conditions for better integration into the gas and biogas energy distribution network.

  • We will accelerate the introduction of separate collection of biodegradable waste, including kitchen waste, especially in cities.

5.9. Cross-section measures
  • We will raise the awareness among the general public about environmental issues and sustainable consumption. We will provide training for officials and formal authorities working in the field of the environment.

  • We will increase the active role of Slovakia in drafting environmental legislation at EU level.

  • We will strengthen public participation in environmental protection

  • We will subordinate the state administration of the environment sector to the Ministry of the Environment, Climate Change and Energy of the Slovak Republic.

  • We will gradually increase the share of green public procurement with a goal of 100% transition to green procurement by the end of the parliamentary term.

  • We will strengthen the role of analyses and the capacity of analytical departments in environmental decision making.

 

  1. MORE ECO-FRIENDLY ENERGETICS

Our goal is to improve the quality of life of people while improving the quality of the environment. We consider the impacts and risks arising from the climate crisis, changes in the global trade and geopolitical situation and the transformation of energetics as a result of technological progress and new European legislation as the main factors and challenges that will significantly influence the further development of Slovak energetics. The necessary investments will reduce CO2 emissions, promote regions’ energetic self-sufficiency, create new jobs and improve people’s health.     

Our energy policy will have three priority objectives. The first one is sustainability and decarbonisation, which will enable efficient and environmentally sustainable use of local renewable energy sources, particularly at the point of consumption, as well as improving the efficiency of production, distribution and energy consumption.

The second objective will be affordable energy, which will be the result of a competitive market, and fair, professional and transparent regulation of natural monopolies. The third objective will be security of supply of all types of energy, which also includes sufficient diversification of energy supply sources and routes.

Slovakia benefits and will benefit in the future from the low-emission mix in the electricity sector due to a high proportion of nuclear and hydropower. There is a relatively high proportion of biomass and gas in the heating industry. Removing coal from both sectors is the most economically rational and environmentally sound solution for decarbonisation in these sectors.

We want to achieve stability and affordability of energy while pursuing the energy and climate priorities, whereas targeted measures would support innovative and systemic solutions to ensure increased use of renewable energy sources at the point of consumption and improve energy efficiency in households as well as in industry and services. Energy transformation must be fair and offer solutions for all citizens, including those socially disadvantaged, and must not undermine economic competitiveness.

6.1. Promoting cleaner heating
  • In the area of district heating systems, we will support the exchange of coal for locally renewable energy sources. We will ensure that the use of biomass is efficient and environmentally sustainable and that the potential use of geothermal energy does not endanger the sources of curative thermal waters. If the locally available renewable energy sources are not sufficient, we will also support the replacement of fossil fuel with those with lower emissions (natural gas), or projects supporting the circular economy and energy recovery of waste.

  • Development of biomass use will be conditioned by transparency in the development of forest management programs. Further development of “energy biomass” will only be possible if it is used efficiently and environmentally sustainable in local district heating systems without adversely affecting forest ecosystems. Under similar conditions, we will also support the development of biomethane production and use.

  • We will implement the connection of the central heat supply of Košice to the Ďurkov geothermal source.

  • Central heating companies will be able to use EU funds and new tax schemes (e.g. the “Estonian tax” in the least developed districts) or the financial resources available through emission allowance trading to increase the share of renewable energy sources.

  • We will accelerate the shift from using solid fuels in obsolete boilers towards more efficient heating systems. All boilers used in households that do not meet the basic emission criteria should gradually be phased out with the support of European sources. Illegal waste incineration will be more closely monitored and penalized.

6.2. Strong support for renewables
  • We will support an increase in the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix in line with the current recommendations of the European Commission. Priority will be given to support mechanisms such as Green Households targeting small local resources at the point of consumption and in buildings.

  • Future support for larger renewables should reflect falling prices of technology and stimulate their functioning without subsidies through premium and auction systems. The development of further use must also include the development of “energy storage” systems.

  • We will simplify the administrative processes associated with permitting the installation and use of renewable energy sources at the point of consumption, while ensuring that the stoppage that has been in place since 2014 is not re-established.

  • We will ensure the development of sustainable energy policies at regional level. By this we mean coordinating the region’s transition to a higher level of energy self-sufficiency based on energy savings, energy efficiency and local renewables.

6.3. Environment-friendly resources
  • The use of renewable energy sources must respect environmental limits. It must not contribute to its destruction or cover wasting. We will complement the criteria for the sustainable use of wood biomass for energy purposes and extend it to all public subsidies and support programs. Similar criteria for respecting environmental limits will be introduced for other renewable sources, including hydropower plants.

  • We will prepare a program to support the use of renewable sources in automobile and railway transport. The transport corridors will be transformed into transport and energy corridors, and instead of advertising billboards we will promote the installation of a network of resources for the production of electricity from renewable sources for transport, thus supporting the development of e-mobility.

  • We will promote the completion of energy-efficient infrastructure in small municipalities. We will support the construction of natural sewage treatment plants in districts where the connection to the sewerage system ended with sewage treatment plants is low.

6.4. Energy efficiency as a priority
  • The energy efficiency policy in the housing and buildings sector should aim at “smart apartment blocks” or “smart houses”. Investments in the energy efficiency of buildings, together with the promotion of the use of local renewables, will also help to protect socially weaker classes from energy poverty. Therefore, the EU and public funds (the State Housing Development Fund) will be primarily focused on their support.

  • By 2022, we want to achieve a three-percent rate of renovation of public buildings with a growing share of buildings restored to energy class A, respectively A1 and A0. In restoring public buildings, we will encourage the participation of the private sector as a provider of guaranteed energy services.

  • We will improve the legislative and strategic framework to increase investment in energy savings and energy efficiency. We will achieve better application of the existing generally binding rules on the energy performance of buildings.

  • We will use the framework for investment activities financed from EU funds in the years 2021-2027 to support complex renovation of buildings. We will expand the range of eligible activities to increase the energy efficiency of buildings and their combination, as well as the possibility of their appropriate phased implementation within one project.

6.5. Clean and modern industry
  • Ministries will be more proactive in project preparation that will also allow entrepreneurs to make better use of resources in the Envirofond, the EU ETS Modernization Fund and the EU ETS Innovation Fund resulting from emissions trading.

  • This revenue should be mainly used for green projects that show the highest greenhouse gas reduction per euro invested and contribute to the application of new, clean technologies and the creation of sustainable jobs.

  • We will support energy efficiency improvement projects through tax mechanisms instead of fees.

6.6. Taxation of polluting fuels
  • We will support the introduction of a circulation emission tax on motor vehicles as an additional tax to monitor the environmental nature of consumption. The annual progressive tax would depend on the amount of emissions (g/km).

  • We will support the transition to qualified majority voting in the EU Council on (environmental) taxes. This is important, for example, in the effective introduction of carbon tax and customs duties, or in the reform of common minimum tax rates on petrol and diesel in order to prevent shopping tourism in neighboring countries without the desired environmental effect.

  • We will support the extension of the ETS emissions trading system and, at the same time, the introduction of a pan-European carbon duty for imports from countries that do not have the same climate targets as the EU. We will introduce a rule that at least 50% of the revenues from the sale of emission allowances in Slovakia should be used to support low-carbon investments.

6.7. Science, research and innovations
  • We will support public-private partnerships that will participate in the development and transfer to the priority energy technologies market as well as Slovakia’s greater involvement in EU programs (Strategic Energy Technology Plan, Horizon Europe, Battery Alliance, Fuel Cell, and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking).

  • We will adopt a national industrial strategy that will define clear technological priorities in support of science and research in the Slovak energy sector. The reduction of emissions must be based on the latest technologies that will contribute to increasing the competitiveness of the Slovak economy.

 

  1. BETTER REGULATION AND ENERGY POLICY

The current system of regulation and support in energy policy is chaotic, complicated, with a number of exceptions. This requires a fundamental change in energy policy and in the work of the Regulatory Office for Network Industries.

7.1. Clear objectives and policies
  • We will clearly define energy and regulatory policy objectives. Legislation and policy-making and regulation must be based on consultations and analyses.

  • We will strengthen long-term planning as it is a sector with long-term investments. At the same time, however, high flexibility must be maintained in the light of rapid innovation developments and changes in market and regulatory trends.

  • We will gradually withdraw from excessive price and material regulation. Energy prices should reflect the real costs of their supply as well as the energy needs of consumers.

  • The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic will consider the possibility of introducing an effective compensation mechanism (for example through a benefit in material need) to combat the energy poverty of the most vulnerable households. Investment in energy efficiency and, generally, increasing the income of low-income groups through tax cuts, levies will remain a priority in the fight against energy poverty.

7.2. Better management and protection of public interest
  • In natural energy monopolies, such as transmission, transportation and distribution systems, the state retains a critical part of its property, as it is strategically important infrastructure. In the case of energy companies that operate in a competitive environment where state ownership has not been proven useful, we will consider the proportion of ownership interest.

  • We will not reduce the taxation of profits from this infrastructure and therefore we will not abolish the law on special levy for regulated companies.

  • We will create a tool that allows the state to intervene in the sale of shares in strategic enterprises, even if it does not have a controlling interest in them. In particular, we will oversee acquisitions in situations where an investor outside the EU acquires or strengthens his voting power or acquires significant influence in a strategic business.

  • We will place a strong emphasis on professional and efficient management of state-owned enterprises and enterprises with state participation so that only those practices are applied that ensure the most efficient management, increase the country’s energy security and do not have a negative impact on customers.

  • In enterprises with state participation, we want to introduce transparent selection procedures for board members and top management. We will regularly evaluate business management and performance of managers. We will put in place measures to prevent any conflicts of interest of the members of corporate bodies.

7.3. Nuclear energy
  • We are in favour of the completion and safe commissioning of two new units at the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant. The safety of these reactors must be verified before commissioning, the public must be informed about the conclusions and any potential deficiencies must be rectified.

  • With regard to disproportionate increase in the cost of its completion and the related financial burden placed on Slovenské elektrárne, the state will also perform an in-depth and comprehensive audit of the entire process as a shareholder. Given the situation and importance of Slovenské elektrárne, the state will retain its share or consider increasing it if necessary.

  • We will support the position and competence of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority and increased rate of providing information to the public by this Authority.

  • We will neither plan nor support the construction of new large nuclear units. We will ensure effective use of EU funds in the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 for the disposal of V1 in the Jaslovské Bohunice nuclear power plant NPP).

  • Given the significant share of electricity generation in NPP, which will even increase after the launch of new units in Mochovce, as well as the recent crises in the supply of other strategic fuels, we will also support the diversification of nuclear fuel imports.

7.4. Energy security
  • Our measures for a greener Slovakia will contribute to lower consumption and imports of fossil fuels, where Slovakia is largely dependent on one source.

  • In the case of natural gas, we support further, economically advantageous connections with neighbouring systems, including the timely completion of the construction of the connection with Poland.

  • We will support the creation of the best legislative-regulatory environment for the development of regional gas trading.

  • We will promote the maintenance of the utilization of transmission capacities and the position of the Slovak transit system in the context of new projects that threaten the transport of gas from Ukraine through Slovakia further to the EU.

  • We will support pilot projects for the development of different forms of decarbonised gas (hydrogen, synthetic gas) and develop a vision for the future of natural gas in order to prepare the sector for a low-carbon future.

  • Support for new gas infrastructure will be conditioned and limited by the phasing out of more demanding fossil fuels and by the ability of the gas industry to introduce a vision of gradual decarbonisation.

  • We will achieve better participation of the Slovak energy industry in projects of common European interest as well as in the EU funding instrument Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

  • We will support the strengthening of connections to the electricity transmission systems of neighbouring countries and the deployment of smart grids at both transmission and distribution levels.

 

Chapters

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