Country Reports

Slovakia Country Report

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Risk Level

Very High


Executive Summary

The new centre-right coalition government controls a constitutional parliamentary majority. This, alongside the parties’ common goal to fight corruption, will assure its stability in 2020. Beyond 2021, its longevity will depend on its response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus outbreak and finding a common ground on contentious social issues where their policies differ. The government will struggle to deliver on its pre-election promises, at least while the COVID-19 outbreak continues. These include balancing economic growth across regions, boosting R&D and innovation and fighting corruption. The latter involves judicial reforms, including more rigorous selection of judges and the establishment of a specialist court focusing on disciplinary proceedings against legal professionals. Although these reforms are still likely to progress throughout 2020, they will face delays, as the government’s policies will focus on respond to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. The COVID-19 impact brings considerable uncertainty for the Slovak economy. Slovakia is the EU’s most open economy, with goods and services exports accounting for about 93% of 2019 GDP. Our 2020 growth forecast now stands at 0.2% (down from 2.3% in 2019), accompanied by weakening growth in industrial output, household demand, and exports. As a eurozone member, Slovakia does not benefit from an independent exchange rate or monetary policy. Although the share of GDP comes from services (including tourism) is comparatively small, reduced global consumption could easily send Slovakia into recession. The automotive industry is especially important: with four automotive plants, Slovakia is the world's biggest car producer per capita. Slovak GDP growth is currently projected to remain modest in 2020, at 2.1%, but downside risks remain elevated. Despite a tight labour market, household consumption was surprisingly weak in 2019, while exports were hit by external factors. Into 2020, top domestic challenges include labour shortages, regional imbalances, and continued rapid credit growth.
Last update: March 24, 2020

Operational Outlook

Slovakia's favourable geographic location and low-cost labour are attractive for FDI. Strikes are rare; wage negotiations are the main reason for industrial action in privately owned companies, primarily in the automotive sector. However, elevated corruption and administrative red tape, alongside incomplete infrastructure and lack of skilled labour, hamper Slovakia's regional competitiveness. Corruption allegations affect all echelons of public administration. Public procurement and allocation of EU subsidies are particularly vulnerable. The new centre-right government has a strong mandate to address this problem and reforms are likely in several sectors, including judiciary and state procurement.

Last update: March 26, 2020



Although part of NATO, Slovakia generally keeps a low international profile, making it an unlikely target for terrorist attacks staged by Islamist militant groups. However, if attacks were launched, the most likely target would be government and parliament premises, embassies, public transport and large shopping centres in the capital, Bratislava, and Košice. The foremost risk to property or personnel stems from the protests organised by extreme-right and activist groups (e.g., environmentalists) as well as organised crime activities. However, the level of organised crime has reduced dramatically over the past decade, with several high-profile members of criminal groups now imprisoned or awaiting trial.

Last update: October 22, 2019


Crime rates have been falling since Slovakia attained independence in 1993. According to the latest Eurostat figures published in 2018, 6.2% of Slovakia's inhabitants reported crime or violence. The decline in criminal activity was recorded notably in theft, economic crime, and violent crimes. Nonetheless, extremism is rising: the police recorded 92 violent crimes with racially motivated context in the first half of 2018. In May 2019, a perpetrator was jailed for six years for a racially motivated attack, which resulted in the death of a Filipino national. In terms of crime overall, the Bratislava district remains the most affected.

Last update: October 22, 2019

War Risks

The risk of interstate war between Slovakia and any other country is low. The country is part of the EU, NATO, and the regional Visegrad Four (V4) group, which means that any potential conflicts are more likely to be solved through diplomatic channels rather than military conflict. Although some bilateral issues exist (such as the nuclear power issue with Austria and the issue of the treatment of ethnic minorities with Hungary), these are highly unlikely to escalate into an armed conflict. Slovakia has a sizeable Hungarian ethnic minority (around 10% of the population). However, the risk of civil war is highly improbable.

Last update: October 22, 2019

Social Stability


The risk of protests is likely to remain moderate, stemming from anti-government/anti-corruption protests triggered by the murder of an investigative journalist in February 2018. Although large (some demonstrations were largest in the country's post-communist history), they are likely to remain peaceful. The foremost risk stems from demonstrations and counter-demonstrations organised by far-right/nationalist groups. The anti-immigration protests are likely to attract activists from neighbouring countries and turn violent either due to fights between protesters and police or between pro- and anti-immigration activists. These are very likely to remain rare and it is highly unlikely that businesses will be directly targeted.

Last update: October 22, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

The country often suffers from summer floods following heavy rain. In 1998, 2002, 2006, and in 2013, the country experienced severe flooding that left dozens dead.

Between November and March, important snowfalls can isolate some parts of the country (roads and rails cut, electricity outages, etc.).

Last update: April 5, 2019



Despite the small number of highways, the motorway is generally well developed. However secondary and peri-urban roads may be in bad condition (deformed pavement, pothole, indication failure, etc.).

Roads in remote areas are often poorly maintained and can be dangerous. Extreme vigilance is advised at night due to the lack of proper street lighting. Horse-drawn carts, agricultural vehicles, cyclists, and vehicles without taillights or reflectors are common. Moreover, drivers can be very aggressive.

Vehicles are required to be fitted with snow tires from November 1 until May 1. Dipped-beam headlamps are required to be turned on during both the day and night. It is necessary for drivers to display a sticker on a vehicle windshield, authorizing the circulation on highways and national roads, otherwise punishable by fine. This sticker, which has a limited period, is available at border posts, post offices and at some gas stations. Driving under influence is strictly forbidden.

Travelers should note that few domestic flights are operated in Slovakia.

Trains are slow but the railway network is dense and in a good state.

It should also be noted that public transportation (tramways, bus and trolley bus in Bratislava) is reliable and well-developed.

Taxis are usually reliable and inexpensive. It is advised to order a taxi ahead. Riders should check the meter and ask for a price estimate before using the taxi. It is recommended not to use informal taxi companies.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information


Slovakia has a continental climate. The hottest and driest regions are the southern and eastern plains. The coldest month is January (-2°C average) and the hottest are July and August (21°C average). The period from May to September is generally quite sunny, despite periodic thunderstorms.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +421
Police: 158
Fire Dept.: 150
Ambulance: 155


Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz


Last update: April 5, 2019