SLOVAKIA
Slovak Republic
Slovenska Republika
Joined United Nations:  19 January 1993
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
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Updated 18 September 2012
CAPITAL
POPULATION
CHIEF OF STATE
SELECTION PROCESS
Bratislava
5,483,088 (July 2012 est.)
Ivan Gasparovic
President since 15 June 2004
President elected by direct, popular vote for a five-year term (eligible
for a second term); election last held 21 March and 4 April 2009

Next scheduled election: April 2014
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
SELECTION PROCESS
Robert Fico
Prime Minister since 4 April 2012
Following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party
or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister
by the president. Elections: last held on 10 March 2012

Next to be held: 2016
DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
ETHNIC GROUPS
Slovak 85.8%, Hungarian 9.7%, Roma 1.7%, Ruthenian/Ukrainian 1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
RELIGIONS
Roman Catholic 68.9%, Protestant 10.8%, Greek Catholic 4.1%, other or unspecified 3.2%, none 13% (2001
census)
GOVERNMENT
STRUCTURE
Parliamentary democracy  comprised of 8 regions (kraje, singular - kraj);  Legal system is a civil law system based
on Austro-Hungarian codes; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations; legal code modified to comply
with the obligations of Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and to expunge
Marxist-Leninist legal theory
Executive: President elected by direct, popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 21
March and 4 April 2009 (next to be held no later than April 2014); following National Council elections, the leader of the
majority party or the leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president
Legislative: Unicameral National Council of the Slovak Republic or Narodna Rada Slovenskej Republiky (150
seats; members are elected on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 10 March 2012 (next to be held in 2016)
Judicial: Supreme Court (judges are elected by the National Council); Constitutional Court (judges appointed by
president from group of nominees approved by the National Council); Special Court (judges elected by a council of
judges and appointed by president)
LANGUAGES
Slovak (official) 83.9%, Hungarian 10.7%, Roma 1.8%, Ukrainian 1%, other or unspecified 2.6% (2001 census)
BRIEF HISTORY
ECONOMIC OVERVIEW
Slovakia has made significant economic reforms since its separation from the Czech Republic in 1993. Reforms to
the taxation, healthcare, pension, and social welfare systems helped Slovakia consolidate its budget and get on track
to join the EU in 2004 after a period of relative stagnation in the early and mid 1990s and to adopt the euro in
January 2009. Major privatizations are nearly complete, the banking sector is almost entirely in foreign hands, and
the government has helped facilitate a foreign investment boom with business friendly policies. Slovakia's economic
growth exceeded expectations in 2001-08 despite a general European slowdown. Foreign direct investment (FDI),
especially in the automotive and electronic sectors, fueled much of the growth until 2008. Cheap and skilled labor,
low taxes, a 19% flat tax for corporations and individuals, no dividend taxes, a relatively liberal labor code and a
favorable geographical location are Slovakia's main advantages for foreign investors. The economy contracted 5% in
2009 primarily as a result of smaller inflows of FDI and reduced demand for Slovakia's exports before rebounding
4% in 2010 and 3.3% in 2011. Unemployment rose above 12% in 2010-11. The government of Prime Minister
Iveta RADICOVA implemented reforms to curb corruption and improve government accountability - a major
source of discontent with many Slovaks - and trimmed the budget deficit to 4.9% of GDP in 2011.
Source:
CIA World Factbook (select Slovakia)
POLITICAL CLIMATE
Slovakia has made significant economic reforms since its separation from the Czech Republic in 1993. Reforms to
the taxation, healthcare, pension, and social welfare systems helped Slovakia to consolidate its budget and get on
track to join the EU in 2004 and to adopt the euro in January 2009. Major privatizations are nearly complete, the
banking sector is almost entirely in foreign hands, and the government has helped facilitate a foreign investment boom
with business friendly policies such as labor market liberalization and a 19% flat tax. Foreign investment in the
automotive and electronic sectors has been strong. Slovakia's economic growth exceeded expectations in 2001-08
despite the general European slowdown. Unemployment, at an unacceptable 18% in 2003-04, dropped to 7.7% in
2008 but remains the economy's Achilles heel. Despite its 2006 pre-election promises to loosen fiscal policy and
reverse the previous DZURINDA government's pro-market reforms, FICO's cabinet has thus far been careful to
keep a lid on spending in order to meet euro adoption criteria and has focused on regulating energy and food prices
instead. To maintain a stable operating environment for investors, the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development advised the Slovak government to refrain from intervening in important sectors of the economy.
However, Bratislava's approach to mitigating the economic slowdown includes substantial government intervention
and the option to nationalize strategic companies. GDP fell nearly 5% in 2009 and unemployment rose above 12%,
as the global recession impacted many segments of the economy.


Following National Council elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is usually
appointed prime minister by the president. Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime
minister has to receive the majority in the parliament. From July 2006 till July 2010 the coalition consisted of Smer,
SNS and HZDS. After the 2010 elections a coalition was formed by the former opposition parties SDKÚ, KDH
and Most–Híd and newcomer SaS.

Wikipedia: Politics of Slovakia
INTERNATIONAL
DISPUTES
Bilateral government, legal, technical and economic working group negotiations continued in 2006 between Slovakia
and Hungary over Hungary's completion of its portion of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros hydroelectric dam project
along the Danube; as a member state that forms part of the EU's external border, Slovakia has implemented the strict
Schengen border rules
U.S. State Department
United Nations Human
Rights Council
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
Freedom House
REFUGEES AND
INTERNALLY
DISPLACED PERSONS
(IDP)
None reported.
ILLICIT DRUGS
Transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin bound for Western Europe; producer of synthetic drugs for regional
market; consumer of ecstasy
Slovak National Centre For
Human Rights
U. S. STATE
DEPARTMENT
HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
2011 Human Rights Report: Slovakia
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
20
11 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May
24, 2012

The Slovak Republic is a multiparty parliamentary democracy led by a prime minister and a 150-member Narodna Rada (National
Council). Voters elected the head of government, Prime Minister Iveta Radicova of the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, to a
four-year term in 2010. President Ivan Gasparovic, the head of state, was reelected for a five-year term in 2009. Both elections
were considered free and fair. Six political parties, four of which formed the governing coalition, participate in the National Council.
In October the government fell to a no-confidence vote. Security forces reported to civilian authorities.

Notable human rights problems during the year included abuse of power by judicial figures and a lack of checks and balances
within the judicial system; continued societal discrimination and violence against Roma; and government corruption.

Other human rights problems included prison overcrowding and targeting of the press for civil defamation suits by members of the
political and business elite.

The government investigated reports of abuses by members of the security forces and elsewhere in government. Some officials
engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
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UNITED NATIONS
HUMAN RIGHTS
COUNCIL
TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Economic and Social Council Distr. General
June 8, 2012
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural
Forty-eighth session
Geneva, 30 April-18 May 2012
Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under articles 16 and 17 of the Covenant
Concluding Observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural
Slovakia

A. Introduction
2. The Committee welcomes the submission of the second periodic report of Slovakia, which is consistent with the Committee's
guidelines, and strives to report on measures taken to implement the recommendations made by the Committee in its previous
concluding observations. The Committee also notes with appreciation the written replies to its list of issues (E/C.12/SVK/Q/2/Add.
1) have been provided.

B. Positive aspects
4. The Committee welcomes the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights, March 7, 2012, and the ratification of the following:
(A) The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Protocol on 26 May 2010;
(B) The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, August
7, 2006;
(C) the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and pornography of
children, July 25, 2004.

C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
6. The Committee regrets that, despite the rule of the Covenant in the law, the State party has not provided information on cases of
application of the Covenant to date by the national courts.
The Committee recommends that the State party take appropriate measures to raise awareness of the Covenant among judges,
lawyers and prosecutors to ensure that its provisions can be taken into account in the decisions of the courts internal. The
Committee also recommends that the State party adopt measures to sensitize the judiciary and the people of the Covenant and the
justiciability of economic, social and cultural rights. He drew the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 9 (1998)
on the implementation of the Covenant at the national level.
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FREEDOM HOUSE
FREEDOM IN THE WORLD REPORT- 2012
Political Rights Score: 1
Civil Liberties Score: 1
Status: Free

Overview
A lack of consensus over Slovakia’s contribution to a eurozone bailout fund led to the collapse of Prime Minister Iveta Radičová’s
government and the scheduling of early elections for March 2012. Radičová, together with Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská, had
worked to reduce corruption, especially in procurement procedures and the judiciary. In September, the parliament passed an
amendment to the 2008 Press Act, partially undoing the controversial law’s infringements on editorial freedom by limiting
politicians’ “right of reply.”


Smer won the largest share of votes in parliamentary elections held in June 2010, taking 62 of the 150 seats. The SDKU-DS placed
a distant second with 28 seats, followed by the center-right Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) with 22, the Christian Democratic
Movement (KDH) with 15, the new ethnic Hungarian party Most-Híd with 14, and the SNS with 9. For the first time since 1991,
Mečiar’s party did not win any seats, having failed to reach the 5 percent vote threshold for representation. Despite Smer’s
plurality, the SDKU-DS was able to form a center-right majority in July with the SaS, the KDH, and Most-Híd, and Radičová
became the country’s first female prime minister.

Slovakia attracted international attention in October 2011 when it became the only EU member state to reject the expanded
European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF)—a proposed bailout fund necessitated by an ongoing eurozone public-debt crisis.
Radičová combined the parliamentary vote for the bailout with a vote of confidence in her government so as to persuade the SaS to
support the measure. The strategy failed, and the government collapsed. Smer then successfully organized support for the EFSF
expansion in a second vote, in return for early elections. The bailout package was ultimately approved, and elections, originally
planned for 2014, were scheduled for March 2012. Radičová and her cabinet would serve in a caretaker capacity until the elections.

Slovakia is an electoral democracy. Voters elect the president for up to two five-year terms and members of the 150-seat,
unicameral National Council for four-year terms. The prime minister is appointed by the president but must have majority support
in the parliament to govern.

Slovakia’s political party system is fragmented. The current ruling coalition of SDKU-DS, KDH, Most-Híd and the opposition party
Smer was brought together to pass the EFSF, and left SaS in political isolation.

Click here to read more »
AMNESTY
INTERNATIONAL
31 August 2012
A class apart – Slovakia’s segregation of Romani students

Like any responsible parents, Marcela and Peter want to see their children succeed at school.

But unlike most, they – along with several other members of their community in the eastern Slovakian city of Levoča – have faced
a long struggle with their local primary school to ensure their children get the same opportunities as the other students there.

Marcela and Peter are Roma, and in recent years two out of their four children attending the Francisciho school in Levoča’s
Tehelna neighbourhood have been separated from their peers – segregated from the non-Roma children.

When the school reopens after the summer holidays on 3 September, Marcela and Peter fear their daughter Renata will be the latest
to be separated from her classmates – just because of her ethnicity.

“I already have two children in segregated classes. I will not accept the same to happen to the third one,” Marcela angrily told
Amnesty International.

The young couple’s problems with Francisciho school began in 2009, when their son Dušan and seven other Romani children were
placed in a separate class on the first day of 5th grade. Only one Romani pupil remained in the “mixed” class they had all attended
up to that point.

When in 2011, the couple’s youngest daughter Erika was placed in one of the newly created Roma-only first grade classes,
Marcela and Peter, together with a small group of other Romani parents in Tehelna, questioned the school’s director about the
practice, which places their children at a profound educational disadvantage and fuels discrimination.

But they failed to get a satisfactory explanation and none of the Romani children has been transferred to ethnically integrated classes
yet.

Their older daughter Renata now fears that she will join her two siblings among the other Roma children who have been separated
from their non-Roma peers.

When Amnesty International spoke with her recently, Renata said she likes her school and classmates and is adamant that she does
not want to be moved into a Roma-only class:
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HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
Beyond Breivik, Hate in Europe is on the Rise
by
Benjamin Ward
Published in:
The Huffington Post UK
April 25, 2012

With the eyes of the world on the Oslo district court, there are stark contrasts on display. The twisted and hate-filled logic of
Anders Breivik contrasts with the calm, dignified and above all fair criminal process against him.

There are contrasts too between the shocking terrorist atrocities he is charged with and the response of Norway and its people:  no
emergency measures, no hysteria, just a reaffirmation of the fundamental importance of human rights and the rule of law.

The rest of Europe could learn a lot from Norway’s response. In the decade that followed the 9/11 attacks in the United States,
some countries in Europe, including the UK and France, relied on draconian powers to combat terrorism, bypassing the criminal
justice system through the use administrative detention and deportation to countries with poor records on torture. Others, including
Poland, Romania and Lithuania, cooperated with the CIA on the illegal transfer, detention and torture of terrorism suspects.

The United States which is trying terrorism suspects using unfair “military commissions” could also learn from Norway. Despite
his desire, like many terrorists, to be treated as a warrior, Breivik is rightly being prosecuted as an ordinary criminal.

The lessons from the Breivik case for Europe go beyond the fight against terrorism.

It may be comforting to see Breivik as a lone madman whose actions were an isolated event. But the reality is that hatred and
intolerance are growing in Europe today. Three trends stand out.

First, in many European countries, populist, anti-Muslim, anti-Roma, and anti-immigrant extremist parties are now a prominent part
of the political landscape.  

The National Front secured almost 18 percent of the vote in the April 22 first round presidential elections in France. The Freedom
Party withdrew its support from ruling coalition in the Netherlands on April 23 causing it to collapse. Until recently, extremist
parties were also part of government coalitions in Italy and Switzerland. Similar parties have made significant gains in Denmark,
Sweden, and Finland, and had electoral success in the 2009 European Parliament elections in Hungary, the UK, and elsewhere. An
extremist party looks poised to enter the Greek parliament in forthcoming elections.  

A 2011 study from Chatham House, a research and policy organization, indicates that support for these parties is a long-term trend,
which in many cases pre-dates the economic downturn. And far from neutralizing extremist parties, the response of mainstream
parties has served instead to legitimize the extremists, sending a message to voters that xenophobic, anti-Muslim, or anti-Roma
sentiment is acceptable rather than a cause for shame.

Second, intolerance toward foreigners, Muslims and other minorities is now common among Europeans.  In polling data from 2010
by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, half of those polled across eight EU states (including France, Germany and the UK) shared the
view that there are too many immigrants, and more than 40 percent concluded the same about Muslims. Norway itself was
criticized by the UN in 2011 for failing to tackle hate speech. Fears about loss of culture, terrorism, crime and competition all help
explain rising intolerance in Europe.

Third, minorities and migrants encounter discrimination in housing, education and employment, as well as racist violence. Research
by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency in 2009 demonstrates that Muslims and Roma experience persistent hostility and
discrimination across the region. It also found that African migrants face significant problems, including discrimination and violence.

In a statement to the court this week, Breivik described members of a German Neo-Nazi gang who murdered nine migrants and a
policewoman during a seven-year spree as “heroic young men.” While individual attacks are the typical pattern in Europe,
intolerance sometimes spills into mob violence, including attacks on migrants in Greece and Italy and on Roma in Italy, Hungary,
the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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OFFICIAL
GOVERNMENT HUMAN
RIGHTS STATEMENT
Address by the President of the Slovak Republic to the Heads of Diplomatic Representations in Slovakia,
10. 1. 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It was a complicated year, both in political and economic terms, for the world as well as Slovakia. Slovakia held the general elections
to the National Council of the Slovak Republic, witnessed the establishment of a new coalition government, as well as the municipal
elections. We fought the economic crisis quite well. Even though the light at the end of the tunnel is still nowhere to be seen, the
Slovak citizens have delivered a commendable performance - both through their work and social patience. They deserve my
admiration and respect.

As far as the political situation in the Slovak Republic is concerned, the diplomats are surely interested in the developments on our
domestic political scene, in the way policy actors and institutions communicate, and in the developments in creating conditions for
investment and the situation in the judiciary. You are concerned over the level of corruption. I wish to assure you that even in a
politically divided society I understand my role as being independent of all political influences and in line with my credo “thinking
nationally, feeling socially”. I am acting “pro bono publico” (for the public good). My communication with the key political actors is
such that allows me to keep the possibility to assist in sustaining, through political dialogue, the political, economic and social stability
of our country. Naturally, this approach requires that the partners are also willing to that. So far, I can find that will in a majority of
cases. At the same time, I believe that with respect to addressing the essential issues related to law-making, social policy or crucial
positions of our country on the international scene, the European and, in general, international affairs should be more discussed by
competent state authorities, the parliament and the government, rather than by individuals or narrow inter-party forums having no legal
legitimacy.

Last year, the political debate in Slovakia often revolved around the independence of the judiciary. I think that the problem with
reforming the Slovak judicial system is, to ever larger extent, the system’s politicalisation. The independent and apolitical system
which is supposed to protect the rights and interests of the citizens has changed into an instrument of domestic policy. Unfortunately,
however, many of our politicians and judges have failed to understand that the impartiality and independence of a judge is not a benefit
that democracy brings to judges but it is a benefit for the citizens in the first place. It is the citizens in the first place, not only judges,
who should rely on the political independence, lawfulness and fairness of the judiciary.

I also have concern over general perception of the problem of corruption. You, too, speak about it, even publicly sometimes.
Unfortunately, the problem is linked with a lower legal certainty in society. Corruption is an illness whose removal unconditionally
requires cooperation from those who have knowledge of it. The reporting obligation applies to all, including foreign entrepreneurs.
Remedying the judicial system, respect for and enforcement of the law requires simultaneous improvements in the legal awareness
within society, including with the help of a new business culture that trading or investment companies bring to Slovakia. At least, that
is what we expect from them.
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VEREJNY OCHRANCA
PRAV/ SLOVAKIA
PUBLIC DEFENDER OF
RIGHTS
TRANSLATED FROM SLOVAK BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Ombudsman began to act in case of šičiek vranovskej textile
06.09.2012

Ombudsman John Dubovcová today began proceedings to investigate the process by public administration in the case of a
company Slotex Fashion Ltd. established in Vranov Topľou.


According to the public defender of rights is seriously suspect that the competent public administrations already some time
probably did not meet his obligations so as Mali. Consequently, for the first time in the history of the office opens proceedings on
its own initiative on the basis of publicized information.


Office of the Ombudsman in the coming days will investigate procedure by the competent authorities of public administration in
relation to the company Slotex Fashion Ltd. as the employer. This is particularly Social Security and the Tax Office and SR Focus
mainly on whether these institutions have preserved to his procedure, or vice versa violated the fundamental rights of employees of
the company. This is particularly the rights protected by Articles 35, 36 and 46 of the Constitution of the Slovak Republic.
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SLOVENSKE NARODNE
STREDISKO PRE
L'UDSKE
PRAVA/SLOVAK
NATIONAL CENTRE
FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
TRANSLATED FROM SLOVAK BY GOOGLE TRANSLATE
Children and tolerance "non-discriminatory club" in Čadca
08.06.2012

CADCA visited the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights in conjunction with the International day of the blížiacim children, the
two-day meeting at on 10 and 11 May 2012 with Children - secondary school students in Jozef Miloslav Hurban Čadca.


Educational activity called "non-discriminatory club" has been repeatedly theme of the Center meetings lecturers and students of the
school. The intent of this activity is to bring the students of the issue of human rights, including the rights of the child and non-
discrimination through moderovanej film screenings and discussions between students and professionals in the field. An interesting
form of interactive games students understand what is discrimination, which leads to it, and how preconceptions
and stereotypes
affect the lives of individuals / groups in the community. Children, after graduating from the educational activities acquire
knowledge about basic human rights. Become aware of the law of a
nti-discrimination versed and tolerance in everyday life, will
receive legal sense in applying the principle of equal treatment and the use of the means of legal protection when it infringement.
They learn to defend against violations of their rights.

Slovak National Centre for Human Rights of Internationally, operates within the United Nations as a national institution for human
rights (National Human Rights Institution). Within the European Union (acts as a specialized national institution for equal treatment
(National Equality Body). Centre was established by law on the basis of the Agreement between the Government of the Slovak
Republic and the United Nations. Centre as an independent legal entity fulfills a vital role in the area of ​​human rights and
fundamental freedoms, including the rights Child and on the basis antidiskriminačného law operates as the only Slovak institution
for equality. virtue of their status Centre monitors and evaluates the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including
the rights of the child, as well as respect for the principle of equal treatment in the Slovak Republic.
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Carbon-dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artifacts from Slovakia — found near Nové Mesto nad
Váhom —- at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era. These ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique,
bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia. Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era (200,000 -
80,000 BCE) come from the Prévôt cave near Bojnice and from other nearby sites. Artifacts have emerged which
date to the Paleolithic stage, including the famous cast of a Neanderthal cranium (c. 200,000 BCE), discovered near
Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia. Archaeologists have found prehistoric Homo sapiens skeletons in the region,
as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Hron, Ipeľ,
Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, and near the foot of the Vihorlat, Inovec and Tríbec mountains and the Myjava
Mountains. The most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth-bone (22 800 BCE), the
Venus of Moravany. Slovakia also features several formerly-inhabited caves. For example, humans inhabited the
famous Domica cave, almost 6000 meters long, to a depth of 700 meters. The same tribes who created the pottery
from the Massif Bukové hory inhabited it continuously for more than 800 years. The Bronze Age in Slovakia went
through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE. To this there period belongs the well-known
funeral culture of the Carpathians and that of the middle Danube. The Roman epoch began in Slovakia in 6 CE,
inaugurated by the arrival of Roman legions on this territory that led to a war against the Marcomanni and Quadi
tribes. The Romans and their armies occupied only a thin strip of the right bank of the Danube and a very small part
of south-western Slovakia. Only in 174 CE did the emperor Marcus Aurelius penetrate deeper into the river valleys
of Vah, Nitra and Hron. On the banks of the Hron he wrote his philosophical work Meditations. In 179 CE, a
Roman legion engraved on the rock of the Trenčín Castle: Laugaritio, the Roman inscription marking the furthest
northern point of their presence in this part of Europe. Roman and German historical theory suggests that the
settlement of Central and Western Europe by the Slavs only began in the sixth century CE. However, certain
elements attest to the fact that by the beginning of the sixth century, a Slav population had begun to occupy vast
territories extending from the Vistula, the Dniestr and the Danube, including present-day Slovakia, Pannonia and
Karantania. In the second and third centuries CE the Huns began to leave the Central Asian steppes. The remnants
of the Slav population settled in the Middle Danube. The birth of Samo's Empire, first mentioned in writing as early
as 623, occurred in response to the raids of the invading peoples. The first recorded mention of Slavic princes near
Pannonia goes back to 803 CE. In 805, the presence of Prince Vratislav, Lord of Bratislava Castle, signifies the
arrival of the second historic Slav in the Middle Danube. Rastislav realised the importance of Christianity for the
Slavs, and in 861 asked the Pope in Rome to send a Bishop to his kingdom. His request fell on deaf ears in Rome
and, so, in 862, he asked the Byzantine Emperor Michael III to send him a Bishop and teachers of religion. Even
before leaving the Byzantine Empire, Cyril and Methodius had created the "first" Slavic alphabet, the glagolitic, and
had translated several religious works into the Slavon language (ancient Slav). From the beginning of the 10th
century, the Ugrian tribes of the Magyars (Hungarians), progressively imposed their authority on the Slav tribes. At
the same time, they began to adopt the lifestyle of the Slavs and Germans, who had been already practising
Christianity and had lived a settled life. The invasions of the Tatars from 1241 to 1243 compounded the human and
material losses resulting from previous struggles. Massive exterminations of populations and famines characterized the
Tatar invasions. The catastrophic defeat of the Hungarian armies from Suleiman I ("the Magnificent") in the Battle of
Mohács in 1526, and the conquest of Buda in 1541 by the Turks, brought about the reduction of the Kingdom of
Hungary to the territory of what was called Royal Hungary, while the remaining former Hungarian territories became
part either of the Ottoman Empire or of Transylvania. During the 18th century a Slovak national movement emerged
with the aim of fostering a sense of national identity among the Slovak people. New signs of national and political life
appeared only at the very end of the 19th century. At the end of the war Austria-Hungary dissolved. The Prague
National Committee proclaimed an independent republic of Czechoslovakia on 28 October, and, two days later, the
Slovak National Council at Martin acceded to the Prague proclamation. The new republic included the Czech lands
(Bohemia and Moravia), a small part of Silesia, and Slovakia; within these boundaries there remained areas inhabited
by hundreds of thousands of Hungarians. The new state set up a parliamentary democratic government and
established a capital in the Czech city of Prague. The nominally-independent Slovakia went through the early years of
the war in relative peace. As an Axis ally, the country took part in the wars against Poland and the Soviet Union. The
victorious Powers restored Czechoslovakia in 1945 in the wake of World War II, albeit without the province of
Ruthenia, which Prague ceded to the Soviet Union. On November 17, 1989, a series of public protests known as
the "Velvet Revolution" began and led to the downfall of Communist Party rule in Czechoslovakia. A transition
government formed in December 1989, and the first free elections in Czechoslovakia since 1948 took place in June
1990. In 1992, negotiations on the new federal constitution deadlocked over the issue of Slovak autonomy. In the
latter half of 1992, agreement emerged to dissolve Czechoslovakia peacefully. Initially, Slovakia experienced more
difficulty than the Czech Republic in developing a modern market economy. Slovakia joined NATO on March 29,
2004 and the EU on May 1 2004. Gasparovic was reelected in 2009, the first Slovak president to be reelected.
Sources: Wikipedia History of Slovakia
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TRAFFICKING IN
PERSONS
None reported.
Robert Kalinak, Peter Kazimir and Miroslav Lajcak
Deputy Prime Ministers since 4 April 2012