Slovakia Modern History

Under communist rule (1945-89)

After the occupation by Soviet troops, according to youremailverifier, Slovakia became part of Czechoslovakia again in 1945 (communist ruled from 1948). In 1945/46 the (Carpathian) Germans and Zipser Saxons were expelled. Although in the government program of Košice (German: Kaschauer program) of April 5, 1945, state self-government was assured and anchored in the Basic Law of May 9, 1948 and in the constitution of July 11, 1960, it was only partially implemented. Neither the state government (committee of commissioners) nor the Slovak CP could assert themselves against Prague centralism. Instead, they had to endure multiple purges in the 1950s because of “bourgeois-nationalist tendencies” (including the arrest and conviction of G. Husák1954). Since the XII. At the party congress of the Czechoslovak Communist Party (December 1962), however, the Slovaks, who had become more self-confident through preferential industrialization in their country, were able to increase their influence. As an aftermath of the reform communist efforts of the »Prague Spring« in 1968, some of which had already started in Slovakia under A. Dubček (head of the Slovak Communist Party since 1963) and were violently suppressed by around half a million Soviet soldiers in August 1968 Slovakia on January 1, 1969 as the “Slovak Socialist Republic” formally had autonomy within the ČSSR. The “normalization course” imposed by the USSR afterwards in Slovakia met with little resistance. The (later) civil rights movement “Charter 77” the 1970s remained unsuccessful.

After the collapse of the communist system of rule in the course of the “Velvet Revolution” of 1989, it was converted into a federal republic in the spring of 1990 within the “Czech and Slovak Federal Republic” (ČSFR), which existed for only three years. The first free elections on June 8/9, 1990 were won by the »Public against Violence« (VPN) movement. It then formed a coalition government with the “Christian Democratic Movement” (KDH), initially under Prime Minister V. Mečiar (VPN; resigned March 6, 1991), from April 23, 1991 under Prime Minister Ján Čarnogurský (* 1944; KDH). In March / April 1991 the VPN split into the strong HZDS (“Movement for a Democratic Slovakia”, chairman: Mečiar) and the right-wing liberal »Democratic Citizens Union«. In the elections in June 1992, the HZDS won and the populist Mečiar was again prime minister. The policy of independence of Slovakia, which he enforced, led to the breakup of the ČSFR. Negotiations with the Czech Prime Minister V. Klaus about the formation of a new confederation failed.

The independent state

On July 17th, 1992 the National Council proclaimed the independence of the Slovak Republic; Prepared under constitutional law by the constitution of September 1, 1992, it came into force on January 1, 1993 with the dissolution of the ČSFR. On February 15, 1993, Michal Kováć (* 1930, † 2016, HZDS) was elected President. In the following period the domestic political situation remained v. a. determined by the power struggle between Kováć and Mečiar (overthrown on March 11, 1994). The elections of 30.9./1.10.1994 again confirmed the HZDS, Mečiar became Prime Minister of a coalition until 1998, which among others. consisted of the HZDS and the “Slovak National Party” (SNS). His government’s objectives were to combat high unemployment and revitalize the economy. Although the government tried to connect with the international community (including the partnership agreement with NATO of 9 February 1994, association agreement with the EU, in force from 1 February 1995), the isolation of the Slovak Republic grew as a result of ongoing domestic political power struggles and in view of the factual Circumcision of the rights of ethnic minorities (especially the Magyars). The Mečiar government’s restrictive policies against minorities met with international criticism. After Kováč left from office (6/3/1998), his competences were transferred on an interim basis partly to parliament and partly to Mečiar, who resigned after the parliamentary elections in September 1998. His successor was the previous opposition leader of the “Slovak Democratic and Christian Union” (SDKÚ) M. Dzurinda . After the first direct election for President at the end of May 1999, R. Schuster was sworn into office on June 15, 1999 by the »Party of Civil Unity « (SOP; opposing candidate: Mečiar). After the September 2002 elections, a four-party center-right coalition was formed in mid-October, again under Dzurinda. As the successor to President SchusterIvan Gašparovič (* 1941) was elected on April 18, 2004; Against the runoff election candidate was Mečiar. The governing coalition broke up in February 2006 over the question of ratifying the concordat negotiated with the Vatican. From the early elections in June 2006, the previously opposition social democratic »Smer« (German: Direction) under R. Fico emerged as the strongest party with 29.1% of the vote. Both in 1998 and 2002 this position was still held by Mečiar’s populist HZDS, which now only won 8.8% of the vote. On July 4th, 2006 (conclusion of the coalition agreement), Fico formed a center-right government from Smer, Mečiars LS-HZDS (name since 2003) and the right-wing »Slovak National Party« (SNS).

Foreign Policy at the Beginning of the 21st Century

The Slovak Republic received candidate status at the end of 1999, and negotiations on accession to the European Union began at the beginning of 2000; With its graduation in December 2002, admission was set for 2004. In a referendum on May 18, 2003, an overwhelming majority of the population (92.5% of voters with a participation of 52%) voted in favor of joining the EU, which took place on May 1, 2004. Since January 1st, 2009 the Slovak Republic has also been part of the Eurozone.

At the Prague summit of NATO in November 2002, the decision was made to accept the Slovak Republic as a future member. The Slovak Republic has been a member of NATO since March 29, 2004. The Slovak army participated inter alia. on the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.

In 2014, the Slovak Republic rejected an offer to station troops that US President B. Obama had made to the Eastern European NATO countries in view of the conflict in Ukraine.

There are foreign policy tensions with Hungary over the status of the Hungarian minority in the Slovak Republic. Both countries cooperate with the Czech Republic and Poland in the Visegrád Group.

In the European refugee crisis that escalated in 2015, the Slovak government, together with the other countries of the Visegrád group, pursued a restrictive course. Following the decision of the EU interior ministers on September 22, 2015 on the distribution of 120,000 refugees to the individual states according to quotas, Prime Minister Fico immediately stated that the Slovak Republic would not comply with this decision. On December 2nd, 2015, the Slovak Republic filed a complaint against the quota system with the European Court of Justice. The lawsuit was dismissed on September 6, 2017.

In the second half of the 2010s, Slovakia was increasingly referred to as a reliable partner by Germany and the EU. Even before its election, the Matovič government, which came to power in spring 2020, stated that one of its foreign policy intentions was not to allow any reinforcement of the NATO armed forces or US troops on its territory.

Slovakia Modern History