|The European structural and investment funds (ESI funds) reduce economic and social disparities, strengthen territorial cohesion within EU Cohesion policy, and support rural development and maritime and fisheries policies. For Central and Eastern European countries, which are less developed than the rest of the EU, these funds represent substantial investments. Slovakia has benefited from EU funding of more than 16 billion EUR (in current prices at January 2022) in 2014-2020, representing one of the highest amounts per capita within the EU. These funds have been implemented under the shared management, as the use of these funds depends not only on cohesion policy settings but mainly on the capacity of the Member State to spend the allocated money. At the end of January 2022, Slovakia received 55% of EU payments, one of the slowest implementations in the EU. We analyze absorption performance in Slovakia in 2014-2020 programming period and examine the factors behind this slow implementation. Absorption capacity is determined by applicants' ability to prepare the projects (e.g., Šumpíková, Pavel & Klazar, 2004; Albulescu & Goyeau, 2013) and macroeconomic situation ability to co-finance EU programmes and administrative capacity (e.g., Boeckhout et al., 2002). This paper focuses on factors that the Slovak government and public administration can directly influence. These factors include quality of governance and administrative capacity (e.g., Milio, 2007; Tosun, 2014; Bachtler et al., 2014; Surubaru, 2017), including administrative staff involved in ESI funds implementation; institutional coordination and public administration reforms (Výrostová & Nyikos, 2019), control of corruption and procedural complexity (e.g., Bachtler, Ferry & Gal, 2018) including public procurement. Based on the Slovak and EU public available data, we analyze financial implementation according to different operational programmes in 2014-2020 and suggest ways to improve absorption performance.