How further with the self-government reform in Bratislava?

Analytical commentary, October 2019,


The aim of these findings and comments is to stimulate a professional and public discussion on the continuation of self-government reform in the Slovak Republic (SR). The initiation of a public discussion about the self-government reform direction in the SR was already recommended in the audit by the Supreme Audit Office of the Slovak Republic (SAO SR), performed in 2014. It assessed the efficiency and effectiveness exercising the powers of 93 municipalities in the SR. In 2019, the SAO SR focused on the functioning of self-government on the example and submissions from the Capital Bratislava (BA). The municipality should provide adequate services for all its inhabitants. We would like to draw special attention to some selected areas due to their societal value.

The key challenges of BA in relation to young families are in particular: (1) weak housing support and (2) insufficient capacity in kindergartens. However, in the area of housing, the goal of building rental apartments for tenants from restituted houses has not been met yet. In kindergartens, the pressure on capacity possibilities is increasing, which will increase in the near future and will subsequently be transferred to primary schools. BA has a disadvantaged position in the SR in obtaining resources to address these challenges from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). According to the ESIF Strategy for the 2014 - 2020 programming period, the Bratislava Region is considered a more developed region; therefore, it can draw funds only to a limited extent. Among other things, additional resource potential can be created by reforming local taxes.

The importance of the BA self-government reform is confirmed by several facts. A BA resident is considered to be a resident of both the city and the city district, but in some cases, he/she cannot directly influence what is happening in the neighbouring district, even if is directly affected by it. Especially if complicated competencies and excessive fragmentation of self-government are also reflected in differences in revenues and expenditures, as well as in the different efficiency of the districts. The highest efficiency of self-governments (within the local territorial self-government in the territory of BA), in the period 2015 to 2017, was achieved by the Districts of Ružinov, Nové Mesto and Podunajské Biskupice. On the other side is Devín District, which has already been under forced administration for 14 years.

The full text of the analysis about this issue in Slovak language is available here.