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Report analyzes state of Slovak society

ALMOST exactly one year after Slovakia joined the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Bratislava's Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) brought out the eighth edition of its analytical yearbook, Slovakia 2004: A Global Report on the State of Society. Slovakia's search for its place within a greater whole is reflected in the report's account of the country's recent developments.

Almost 800 pages of analysis.

ALMOST exactly one year after Slovakia joined the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Bratislava's Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) brought out the eighth edition of its analytical yearbook, Slovakia 2004: A Global Report on the State of Society. Slovakia's search for its place within a greater whole is reflected in the report's account of the country's recent developments.

"The Global Report for 2004 not only evaluates the rate of Slovakia's preparedness to full-fledged membership in both integration groupings, but also tries to find an answer to the question whether and to what extent Slovakia is able to play the role of a generator of innovative approaches on a broader international scope," the book's editors, Grigorij Mesežnikov and Miroslav Kollár, write.

The institute's yearbook is internationally the most quoted independent source of information and analysis on Slovakia's development. Compared to previous editions, this year's English version is innovative in its design and layout, following the standards of similar publications in Western Europe and the US, where most of its readers come from.

Slovakia 2004: A Global Report on the State of Society, is the most voluminous publication in the institute's history, noted the institute's Honorary President Martin Bútora, who initiated the idea of such a report together with Péter Hunčík in 1996. Over 745 pages, the current report offers up-to-date information on developments in Slovak society in 2004, the year Slovakia entered a new, larger playground, and became part of the force forming the increasingly globalized world.

The publication's editors, Mesežnikov and Kollár, led a team of more than 100 people, including authors, editors and translators, who brought the work to its fruition. Experts from Slovakia's think thanks, non-governmental organizations and academic institutes have attempted to identify the actual state of the society and sketch a favourable future development in the following sectors - domestic policy, foreign policy, economy, and society.

The editors conclude that: "15 years since the collapse of the Communist regime, Slovakia is a country with a consolidated democratic political system and functioning market economy that forms an integral part of Euro-Atlantic economic, political, and security groupings.

"In 2004, the country launched or continued to implement thorough reforms in several sectors of society and strove to cope with its new responsibilities on the regional as well as the global level that ensue from its full-fledged membership in the mentioned integration groupings."


By Zuzana Habšudová

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