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Looking to the East

THE FOREIGN policy of Slovakia’s new single-party government will be based on the country’s membership in multi-national structures: NATO, as a guarantor of security; and the EU, as the primary environment for Slovakia to realise its key interests. The cabinet commits itself to being an active partner in NATO, and a “responsible and constructive” member of the eurozone.

THE FOREIGN policy of Slovakia’s new single-party government will be based on the country’s membership in multi-national structures: NATO, as a guarantor of security; and the EU, as the primary environment for Slovakia to realise its key interests. The cabinet commits itself to being an active partner in NATO, and a “responsible and constructive” member of the eurozone.

“Regarding the debt problems in the eurozone the government considers increasing the coordination of budget policies as being necessary,” the programme statement reads, in its section devoted to foreign policy, entitled Strengthening the Position of the Slovak Republic in the EU and in the World.

The cabinet notes that Slovakia must prepare to take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2016.

Within the EU the cabinet of Robert Fico will be focusing on the Western Balkans, the European neighbourhood policy and Eastern Partnership, energy security, and crisis management.

“The government will support enlargement of the EU for countries that fulfil the membership conditions,” the statement reads. The cabinet pledges to share Slovakia's transformation and integration experiences.

In the area of security the cabinet considers its main allies – and the guarantors of its security – to be the USA and other NATO members.

As for bilateral relations, the Slovak cabinet will focus on good neighbourly relations with the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Hungary and Ukraine, and on being an active member of the Visegrad Group. The new government's foreign policy is also based on good bilateral relations with Slovakia’s fellow EU and NATO members, as well as EU neighbours, particularly countries of the Western Balkans and the Eastern Partnership. Other international partners include the BRICS countries, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

“Particular focus will be put on relations with the Russian Federation,” the programme statement for 2012-2016 reads.

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l-r: Adam Zreľák, Robert Fico, Robert Kaliňák and Pavel Hapal