Mar 26, 2021

Mutual Benefits of CEF and Slovak Ministry of Finance Partnership

The CEF and the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic (MoF SVK) have been successfully cooperating in several development projects in South East Europe. We were happy to talk to Ms. Marianna Macášková, Development Cooperation Specialist at the MoF SVK, about the mutual benefits and successes of the longstanding partnership between our organizations.

The CEF and the MoF SVK are longstanding partners. What are some of the benefits of this partnership you see for both of our institutions?

The MoF SVK and the CEF share a common development objective: strengthening personal and institutional capacities of the finance ministries in Southeast Europe. Together we have been able to deliver several learning activities and to capture Slovak PFM know-how and experience in order to inspire our peers in partner countries. Our partnership gives an opportunity for conducive discussions on the needs of the partner countries, strategic orientation of capacity building, and even on our future collaboration improvements.

Over the years you’ve participated at various CEF events and learning activities, in different roles too. Can you share with us some of the things you’ve learned or discovered as a result of attending them (work-related and/or personal)?

Stephen M.R. Covey in his book “The Speed of Trust. The One Thing That Changes Everything” explains how trust is critical to results. He says that the traditional approach, where the results are determined by the strategy and execution, is not enough for success. This is exactly the approach that the CEF employs not only in their working culture but also in their cooperation with the constituency countries, relations with partners and all learning outputs. The CEF events and activities where we have participated in the last ten years could be definitely seen as impactful for those who needed to execute changes at home. We believe that the CEF has managed to meet its partners’ learning objectives, because the learning has been infused by trust, sourced by the credibility of experts, competency of organizers, and easy communication. For the next years, we wish for the CEF to continue spreading trust among their partner organizations, as this could catalyze long-awaited reforms and drive positive changes in instituions.

Your ministry is known for being very forward-thinking and proactive. What are some of the areas that you’re focusing on in the coming years in terms of the SEE region, and how do you see the CEF’s role in that agenda?

Sustainable finance needs to become an important part of the key government plans to deliver services efficiently not only for their citizens but for the people around the globe. We believe that integrating climate change into the whole PFM cycle can be implemented as a whole-of-government approach to addressing its negative impacts. Countries now, more than ever, need to understand that for PFM systems and tax systems working for people it is necessary to shift the focus from national policy objectives to global policy objectives – the Sustainable Development Goals. In line with this vision, the Slovakian Ministry of Finance with its partners will put efforts into those initiatives and capacity building activities that aim for SDGs-informed PFM and domestic revenue mobilization. In line with the demand of our partners, we plan to implement technical assistance and support global initiatives that will, among other areas, work on linking financing with development results, integrating structural reforms in national budget frameworks, improving budget efficiency, and building revenue mobilization capacities at national and local levels.

We see the CEF as a key regional actor to promote the importance of these topics. Within its learning programs, the CEF could invest efforts in supporting sustainable professional capacity development at the SEE partner institutions in the above-mentioned topics. In addition, it would be useful to focus on improving the learning culture in partner organizations. For that purpose, transferring information about specific knowledge management tools and techniques would definitely help them perform better in technical fields.