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The most frequently asked questions with regard to the introduction of the Euro - FAQ Self-Governing Bodies

Last update: 11.10.2007 06:00

1. What duties will there be for municipalities and communities?

Municipalities and communities will have the same obligations as other legal entities, i.e. in relation to their employees, citizens, and their budgetary and non-profit organizations.  It is assumed that municipalities and communities will also play a very important role with regard to the informing of citizens, especially so-called vulnerable groups (older citizens, etc.).  

2. Which areas do the duties of municipalities and communities apply to?

 The duties of municipalities and communities can be divided into the following areas:  legislative-legal, economic, economic-administrative, and technical.

3. What are the duties of municipalities and communities within the legislative-legal area?

In this area it will be necessary, for example, to review and update all generally binding orders, decrees of mayors and lord mayors, internal guidelines, contractual relations, contracts of the rent of the property of communities, etc.  

4. What are the duties of municipalities and communities in the economic area?

Municipalities and communities will have, for example, to quantify the expenditures associated with the introduction of the Euro, to review and alter payment notices, tax liens, to review and adjust economic guidelines, forms, to change the wage system of communities, etc.  

5. What are the duties of municipalities and communities in the economic-administrative area?  

Municipalities and communities must review and replace forms, tax returns, payment notices, review price lists for the public transport system, social services, in the field of sports, culture, etc., review social benefits, fees in schools and school facilities, libraries, museums, in the field of housing and heating management, etc.  

6. What are the duties of municipalities and communities in the technical area?  

These mainly are circumstances associated with the information financial systems of communities, responsibility to replace mechanical equipment and machines using coins, e.g. public transport tickets vending machines, parking meters, turnstiles at public swimming pools, sport centres, etc.  

7. What procedure there will be as to the amendment of generally binding orders?  Will it be necessary to adopt an amendment of each order or will it be done in the form of one “general” act?  

Municipalities and communities should gradually adopt an amendment of generally binding orders one by one but they will not have to do that as of one deadline. This can be a gradual process.  In most cases it will not be necessary to change the contents of the GBOs. Numerical values will have to be converted to EUR.  The intention is for the physical and legal entities to have at their disposal a complete set of the GBOs from 2009, including updated amounts in EUR.  However, if the GBOs are not amended, the SKK value will be considered a EUR value after the conversion, using the conversion rate.  

8. What currency will municipalities and communities use, e.g. in their 2008 budgets or in generally binding orders, when the dual display duty originates during 2008?

In 2008, municipalities and communities will state values and amounts in SKK only.  The dual display duty will not apply to the generally binding legal regulations.  For example: the GBO governing local taxes and fees for 2008 will not be amended after the announcement of the binding conversion rate; however, the dual display must be used in relation to the realization of specific interests based on this GBO (e.g. payment notices).  

9. What documentation must be prepared by the community in relation with the introduction of the Euro?  Who is to approve them?

Each community should have its own plan of tasks associated with the introduction of the Euro approved by a communal or municipal corporation.  The same plan must be approved for its budgetary and non-profit organizations.  The plan should also include the establishment of a working committee for the introduction of the Euro.

10. Will there be educational events organized for municipalities and communities?  Will the training be obligatory?

Participation in training is not obligatory; however, it is in the interest of each settlement to enable its elected representatives and professional employees to participate in the training. The settlement should also pay for the acquisition of necessary information.  Special events for municipalities and communities should also be organized.  

11. Will municipalities and communities get methodological assistance?  

The Association of Municipalities and Communities of Slovakia is planning to prepare a methodological publication for municipalities and communities.  The planned deadline is autumn 2007. 
Are municipalities and communities to contact the suppliers of their information systems?  
Municipalities and communities must enter into negotiations with their suppliers about the update, modifications of systems, the testing of the systems for new conditions and, in the event of the purchase of new systems and technologies, municipalities and communities should require the systems and technologies to be able to perform the conversion to the Euro.

12. What are municipalities and communities to do in the field of communication with citizens?

Municipalities and communities should concentrate on informing their citizens about the impact of the introduction of the Euro in the Slovak Republic at a local level. The s Specific contribution of municipalities and communities with regard to communication with citizens should lie in the supplementation of the generally available information from the communication campaign with information that relates to a particular municipality and community, and the situations and relations into which citizens enter with municipal and communal offices.  For instance, the payment of local taxes and fees, the change of fees for services, the lease of space, payment of administrative fees (e.g. for registry office services, application for construction permission, etc.)

13. How can municipalities and communities inform their citizens?

Municipalities and communities can inform their citizens on the impact of the introduction of the Euro in the Slovak Republic by means of local radio stations, television, newspapers, etc.  It will be very important to create a space for informing citizens on changes which directly relate to them, e.g. at municipal and communal offices when settling various citizens’ matters.  This will also require preparation on the part of the office employees.  Representatives of municipalities and communities could provide information on the impact of the introduction of the Euro at annual meetings of local associations and organizations, political parties, physical education associations, cultural associations, organizations of pensioners, etc.

14. Who will be responsible for the community to be fully prepared in time for the introduction of the Euro?  

Both the bodies of the communities' self-government, i.e. mayors or lord mayors and corporations, will be responsible for the fulfillment of tasks related to the introduction of the Euro within their competencies.  

15. Do the results of the budget management of municipalities and communities constitute a part of the public finance deficit?  

Budgets of municipalities and communities are a part of the public finances.  Within the framework of budgets, municipalities and communities must respect one of the so-called Maastricht criteria, i.e. the public finance deficit must not exceed 3% of GDP.  The ESA 95 methodology is used to calculate the deficit.

16. How should municipalities and communities prepare their 3-year budgets?  For example, in 2008 still in SKK, but in 2009 in EUR?

Municipalities and communities will prepare their projected budgets in the valid currency, i.e. in SKK for the years 2008, 2009, and 2010.  The three-year budgets for 2009, 2010, and 2011 will be in EUR.  

17. Will there be a change in the interest rates of already granted credits of municipalities and communities during the introduction of the Euro?  

There will be no change in the interest rates but the interest rates will be paid in EUR.

18. How will municipalities and communities round the sums converted to the Euro?

There will be precise rules for the rounding of sums, while a proposal of the so-called General Act on the Introduction of the Euro assumes that some matters will be governed by separate executive regulations, e.g. regulations of the Ministry of Finance for tax purposes, regulations of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Family for wages and benefits, etc.  We can assume that the public sector, including municipalities and communities, will round some amounts to 10 cents for the benefit of their citizens.  

19. Must the technical equipment be adjusted so that it will accept coins of both currencies over the period of dual circulation with the Slovak crown and the Euro being valid currencies?

Such technical modifications could be too demanding with regard to the two-week period during which SKK and EUR will be used simultaneously.  It will be enough for this equipment to accept the Euro coins after 1 January 2009. 

20. Who will bear the costs associated with the introduction of the Euro in municipalities and communities?

The municipality or community bears all the costs because there is a principle related to the introduction of the Euro in the Slovak Republic that each entity bears the costs itself in both the public and the private sectors.  

21. What rights and duties will there be for municipalities and communities when carrying out supervision and control over compliance with the rules for the introduction of the Euro?

The competencies of municipalities and communities related to the supervision are governed by the general act, i.e. the Act on the Introduction of the Euro in the Slovak Republic and on the amendments and supplementation to certain Acts.  The draft mainly considers the supervision and control over the dual display of prices, conversion, and rounding of the sums both before and after the introduction of the Euro.  The competencies related to consumer protection are executed by municipalities and communities in the market place.  

22. Will the fines, imposed by the community, flow into the state budget or into the community budget?

Fines will flow into the budgets of municipalities and communities.