15 years of EU membership and 80% of Slovaks feel European
As Slovakia tomorrow celebrates Slovak National Uprising Day, we mark the day by shining a spotlight on the ever-improving living and working conditions in Slovakia.
This year Slovakia is celebrating the 15-year anniversary of EU accession and attitudes towards the EU remain very positive with Eurobarometer reporting 80% of Slovaks feel European.
This optimistic attitude towards the EU may be linked to the positive economic and social change Slovakia has experienced over the last 15 years.
Since joining the EU in 2004, Slovakia has seen sustained economic growth rates above 3% and in 2018 reported its lowest unemployment rate in the history of the state at 6.4%.
Coupled with this, the ability to make ends meet has increased from 59% in 2003 to 64% in 2016, see our Living and Working in Slovakia country profile.
This year there has been success in terms of increasing the national minimum wage, with wage supplements agreed for weekend and night shift workers.
Negotiations are progressing towards increasing the national minimum wage, but a comprise has not yet been reached between Government, trade unions and business representative bodies.
Bearing these economic successes in mind, it’s not surprising that life satisfaction has increased from 5.7 in 2003 and 6.4 in 2016, while subjective happiness has seen an increase from 6.5 in 2003 to 7.1 in 2016.
A recent Eurofound publication, Inequalities in the access of young people to information and support services showed that Slovakia has the lowest reported number of young people aged 12-24 at risk of depression across the EU28.
It also reported that Slovakia has among the lowest incidence of moderate to severe depressive symptoms in young people aged 12-24 across the EU28.
Furthermore, it outlined that Slovakia has the lowest rate of perceived social exclusion among young people aged 12-24 at 1.7%.
Suffice to say there are plenty of reasons to be celebrating Slovakia today.