Slovakia - Future trends

Slovakia has come a long way since its founding in 1993 and its first decade of transition from a communist to a capitalist economic system. It is a member of several international organizations, including the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is also an associate member of the European Union. It aspires to become a member of NATO and is working to update its military infrastructure for this purpose. The government's primary focus in recent years has been the preparation of legislative and regulatory structures for future EU membership, for which it has made a formal application.

In spite of the enormous changes that Slovakia has successfully undergone in its first few years of independence, and particularly since 1998, more remains to be done. Some areas for improvement include: some restructuring of the enterprise sector after the negative results of corrupt "insider" privatization by the first Slovak government, increased foreign investment, a reduction of high unemployment levels, and further reforms of legislation to incorporate EU standards. Although the Slovak economy faces many difficulties, the EU has responded favorably to the economic reforms initiated by the reformist government. Whether the country is able to complete its reform process and attain membership in the EU will depend largely upon the fate of the reformist government in the next elections.

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