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Voters need more ties to EU issuesBrussels - Bratislava disconnect prevails
27 Jan 2014 Michaela Terenzani - Stanková Politics & Society
WORK migration is not an immediate threat for Slovakia, unlike in countries of western Europe, where some voters and politicians perceive it that way. Thus, if radical and extremist forces get their say in the European Parliament (EP) elections, it will be due to the low voter turnout, for which Slovakia is notorious among EU member states. The Slovak Spectator discussed this and other EP-related issues with Vladimír Bilčík, a senior researcher with the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (SFPA) think tank.
TSS: Old EU member states fear the success of extremist movements in the elections. Will this be an issue in Slovakia?
TSS: So it could be similar to the regional elections in 2013 that brought Kotleba to power?
TSS: The truth is also that the voters in Slovakia are not well informed whether MEPs are doing a good job or not.
The EP is perceived as separate from life in Slovakia, and that is a shame, because the EP really does decide on all the legislative proposals that Slovakia participates in and laboriously tries to shape in line with its priorities in the Council of Ministers. Then the proposal reaches the EP, where we do not have people in the right places. We don’t have our rapporteurs in the committees, we are unable to communicate properly with the EP. There is another example of how the institutions ignore this dimension. Slovakia is currently the only member state not to have a standing representative of its national parliament at the EP, who would serve as a focal point and channel the communication between the national parliament and the EP. It is really a shame that in two years the parliament wasn’t able to find such a person. That also demonstrates how political parties and institutions ignore the role of the EP. And, given that the EP has become a strong political player in recent years, it is an absolute underestimation of Slovakia’s role within the EU.More from Politics & Society
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