EU funds

Horizontal Priority Equal Opportunities

Adhesion to basic human rights, non-discrimination and equal opportunities are one of the fundamental principles applied in the EU. The issue of equal opportunities is a part of the foundations of the European employment strategy and the European framework strategy for non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all. The Horizontal priority Equal Opportunities (HP EO) will support the combating of discrimination based on gender, race, ethnic origin, religion, faith, health condition, age or sexual orientation.

The goal of horizontal priority is “To ensure equal opportunities for all and prevention of all forms of discrimination”.

Gender equality and non-discrimination is one of the nine principles of assistance of the EU: “From EU perspective and in line with General Regulation, Chapter IV, Title I, nine main principles of EU assistance are to be respected: the principle of complementarity of assistance from the Funds to national actions, the principle of consistency according to which assistance from the Funds shall be consistent with the Community activities, policies and priorities, the principle of coordination between the Funds, the EAFRD, the EFF and interventions of the EIB  and of other existing financing instruments and, the principle of compliance of operations financed from the Funds with the Treaty and further principles of programming, partnership, territorial aspect of implementation, proportional intervention, shared management, additionality, gender equality and non-discrimination and sustainable development.”[1]

HP EO in the NSRF

The Horizontal priority Equal Opportunities (HP EO) is defined in the NSRF with the statement that it will be applied and monitored crosswise in all operational programs. Horizontal priority Equal Opportunities according to the NSRF shall affect only those projects that will have a positive or negative impact on EO.[2] For other projects, which in the opinion of the applicant have not an impact on Equality of opportunities, the principle of HP EO shall not apply.

Special emphasis in the NSRF is put on the principle of gender equality which fulfilment is one of the “obligations to eliminate inequality and to advance gender equality in all activities using gender mainstreaming method.” NSRF then defines gender mainstreaming “According to this approach, the conceptual, strategic, decision-making and evaluation processes in all stages of preparation and implementation have to consider gender equality.  This means in the context of the structural funds, that equality of opportunities for all and support of balanced representation of men and women need to be considered in programming, monitoring and evaluation activities.”[3]

On the political level, the person responsible for the coordination of implementation of Horizontal priority Equal Opportunities (HP EO) is the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family who fulfils the coordination role in relation to HP EO within the approved NSRF. The Department of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic was appointed to be the executive coordination body that safeguards the processes of coordination implementation of HP EO. For this purpose, the Support Centre for Equal Opportunities will be established within the Department of Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities and will consist of a team of coordinators. Their role will be to cooperate closely with contacts at individual focal points.

National Strategic Reference Framework for the PP 2007 – 2013

Current programme period of 2007 – 2013 is the first programme period during which the Slovak Republic will be able to draw from the EU funds in its entire duration. The document known as the National Strategic Reference Framework for the period of 2007 – 2013 (NSRF) provided the baseline for this drawing. This strategic document has been drawn up pursuant to the new regulations of the European Union (EU) for the Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund. The Government of the Slovek Republic approved the document on December 6, 2006 and the European Commission on August 17, 2007. To download the document, click here.

NSRF 2007 – 2013 Slovak version

NSRF 2007 – 2013 English version

Note: Translation is not considered an official document. The only official version of the NSRF is the version in Slovak language


For further information visit the web page of the Central Coordination Authority in Slovakia


[1] General Regulation, Art. 9 – 17 in: National Strategic Reference Framework of the Slovak Republic for the years 2007 – 2013, on-line:

[2] National Strategic Reference Framework of the Slovak Republic for the years 2007 – 2013, on-line:

[3] para 67

Aims of EO

Aims and objectives of HP Equal Opportunities  Gender equality Objective 1.1 • Increase of employment and reduction of unemployment of women at the labour market. • Reducing the difference in employment rates and unemployment rates between women and men. Objective 1.2 • Increase of the participation of women at the labour market through measures for …

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The obligation to ensure the active promotion of gender equality and gender perspective is defined by the EU Council Regulation “The Member States and the Commission shall ensure that equality between men and women and the integration of the gender perspective is promoted during the various stages of implementation of the Funds. The Member States …

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Evaluation Report

External evaluation of the implementation of Horizontal Priority Equality of opportunities (HP EO) results from the approved by Evaluation Plan HP EO for 2007 – 2013. The purpose of the external evaluation of HP EO is an overall assessment of the adjustment of the HP EO system, with emphasis on the formulation of the aims arising from SCI HP …

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Context indicators of HP EO (D – decrease, I – increase) Indicator Objective HP EO Unit Resources Value 2006 Value 2009 Required trend Pursuance employment rate for men 1.1. % Eurostat 67 74,6 – – employment rate for women 1.1. % Eurostat 51,9 58,2 I Yes gender gap in employment rates 1.1. % Eurostat 15,1 …

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