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  • Author: Miroslava Pěčková
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: The results of Slovak presidential and European elections in 2019 indicated a political change in Slovakia, distancing itself from a twelve year-long dominance of ruling party SMER, which got embroiled in many corruption scandals throughout its reign. Firstly, the presidential elections in March 2019 appointed Zuzana Čaputová to President, defeating SMER´s candidate Maroš Šefčovič. She took hold of the office as an explicit advocate for multilateralism, anticorruption and a more liberal direction for the country, stating that her “main focus is to bring about change in Slovakia, and for Slovakia to be a reliable and predictable partner of the European Union”, while having an “inspirational effect” to other European countries in this regard1. Secondly, two months later, the coalition PS-SPOLU (whose former vice-president is Čaputová) noticeably won the elections to the European Parliament, with its programme promising a “real European Slovakia” and an intention to actively participate in the EU´s development and unity2. The coalition´s success marked another election lost by SMER in a row and subsequently offered the possibility of further political upheaval in the upcoming elections. The composition of the new government coalition arising from the 2020 Slovak parliamentary elections confirmed the change of political leadership in the country, thus bringing a potential for change as it consists of the parties of previous opposition and defined itself against its predecessor. This paper will analyse the new government´s programme and policies specifically pertaining to rule of law and green transformation vis-à-vis their feasibility in the context of contemporary developments. The COVID-19 pandemic influenced the beginning of the rule of the new government and is going to affect the real shape of its original political plans and reforms due to significant impact on Slovak economy. Moreover, the paper will reflect if these developments are likely to be significant in the Visegrad 4 context.
  • Topic: Politics, Elections, European Union, Rule of Law, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Eurasia, Eastern Europe, Czech Republic, Slovakia
  • Author: Žiga Faktor
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Europeum Institute for European Policy
  • Abstract: Žiga Faktor examines the backsliding of democracy in Slovenia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid the escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, Slovenia experienced a major political shift, as Janez Janša, leader of conservative SDS party, was appointed as a new Prime minister of Slovenia, filling the political vacuum created after a resignation of a former PM Marjan Šarec earlier this year. With Janša’s strong ties to Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, his endorsement of right-wing populist rhetoric and ferocious verbal attacks on journalists and established media, many fear that Slovenia’s democratic principles are at stake, while the situation can be further exacerbated by the current state of coronavirus emergency in which the new government can entrench its power.
  • Topic: Politics, Democracy, Populism, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Eastern Europe, Slovenia