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ANALYSTS EVALUATE THE PAST YEAR AND DEFINE MAJOR EVENTS IN THE NEW YEAR

Year in review and trends for 2006

THE YEAR 2005 saw Slovakia swept up in a rush of major international and domestic events, beginning with the US-Russia summit between Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin in the Slovak capital in February, and concluding with dramatic domestic political developments at the end of the year.

THE YEAR 2005 saw Slovakia swept up in a rush of major international and domestic events, beginning with the US-Russia summit between Presidents George Bush and Vladimir Putin in the Slovak capital in February, and concluding with dramatic domestic political developments at the end of the year.

The year 2006 promises to again be eventful, with Slovakia taking up its post as a non-permanenent member of the UN Security Council on January 1, and parliamentary elections scheduled for September 2006.

At the start of 2006, Slovak domestic and international analysts identified the major achievements and events in 2005 for The Slovak Spectator, and outlined likely developments for this year.

Summing up their expectations, Soňa Szomolányi, head of political science at Bratislava's Comenius University, said that in domestic politics, "maintaining the ongoing positive economic trends will be important so that the 2006 elections do not result in a major change in these trends".

"In the foreign policy arena, Slovakia not only becomes a member of the UN Security Council, but it has a chance to become a visible actor in international policy, and will be forced to become more active in this field than it has been ever before," she told The Slovak Spectator on January 2.

"Apart from the Security Council, Slovakia, as well as other new EU member states, should also become more active in the EU arena and should aim to play a positive role in integrating the union. And as necessary as it is for the new EU members to be more active, Old Europe is equally in need of these new impulses," she said.


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