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The Buzz in Slovakia: Interview with Patricia Gossanyiova of Dentons

The Buzz in Slovakia: Interview with Patricia Gossanyiova of Dentons

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As Ukraine’s neighboring country, the war has added extra complexity to Slovakia’s existing economic challenges, according to Dentons Partner Patricia Gossanyiova.

“Many of the most debated topics in Slovakia nowadays are linked to the ongoing war in Ukraine,” Gossanyiova begins. “We are neighboring countries; our companies and industries are strongly affected. Therefore, the war has impacted Slovakia’s political and economic life to a large extent.”

“The overall atmosphere in the country is heavily influenced by the uncertainty and unpredictability of the current events,” she explains. “The government now has a critical function, first aiming to ensure the safety of people, and addressing the economic impact afterward.” According to Gossanyiova, the government prioritizes protecting not only the Slovakian people but also the refugees coming from Ukraine.

“Recently, legislation was adopted granting Ukrainian refugees the right to work,” Gossanyiova points out. “They can now apply for a residence permit, attend schools, and receive medical treatment. It took some time to reach the final decision, but nowadays the relevant legislative framework is already in place.” She adds that it is not only the state and various non-governmental organizations addressing the current challenges but the business sector as well. “The various enterprises also seem to be very welcoming to refugees, offering work opportunities. My understanding is that cultural similarities and the need for a workforce for many Slovakian companies make the employment procedure very smooth.”

Gossanyiova reports that different legislative reforms are underway, addressing Slovakia’s biggest challenges. “There are various amendments for the most important pieces of legislation in the pipeline. For example, there is a major reform anticipated on the reconstruction of the judicial system. In addition, some crucial amendments to insolvency legislation and the commercial code have been proposed in the parliament.” However, she adds, “due to ongoing circumstances, they rarely become a focus of newspapers and relevant bodies these days.”

According to Gossanyiova, the war has aggregated Slovakia’s existing challenges. “These are hard times, but the circumstances were not that easy before either,” she says. “Before this, Slovakia was slowly recovering from the stagnation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but high inflation and increased energy prices impacted the overall economy. In Slovakia, we have many industries, including the automotive sector, which are heavily dependent on electricity and commodities prices. In addition, delays in the import of various items required by these sectors have put production on hold.”

“On the other hand, the past few months have been very interesting and challenging times for lawyers, as our legislation is constantly evolving. We are hopeful that further upcoming legal updates will once again become the hottest topics, once the war is over,” Gossanyiova concludes.

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