What Slovakia could teach Britain

As the Brexit process lumbers on, the British seem disinclined to take heed of anyone’s views. But Slovakia could offer some advice – and even solace.

British PM Theresa May greets her Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini. British PM Theresa May greets her Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini. (Source: SITA)

The first lesson is: don’t take the European Union too seriously.

Slovaks gladly accept the financial benefits and personal freedoms that flow from membership – all the while remaining sceptical of its aims and institutions.

A poll conducted by the Focus polling agency for the European Commission office in Slovakia in February found that most people wanted the EU to act in every area they were asked about – including an astonishing 80 percent who thought the EU should create joint armed forces to protect the country.

Read also:EC: Slovakia lags in several fields Read more 

The EU’s representative in Slovakia, Ladislav Miko, expressed some bewilderment:

“On one hand, there's a general debate to the effect that the [European] Union is interfering in everything and that it shouldn’t. But when you ask what it should do, in every case a majority agreed that the EU should do something in that area,” he told the TASR newswire.

But given that the workings of the European Union make little sense to most people, why should they feel under any obligation to be consistent in return?

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