New government set to put an end to any steps off the Euro-Atlantic road

New government looks to put foreign policy disunity behind it.

Slovakia's top three constitutional officials: President Zuzana Čaputová, Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár and PM Igor Matovič in April 2020. Slovakia's top three constitutional officials: President Zuzana Čaputová, Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár and PM Igor Matovič in April 2020. (Source: Sme - Jozef Jakubčo)

As Slovakia’s new government marked one hundred days in office in late June, PM Igor Matovič was facing mounting criticism at home over a plagiarism scandal involving his coalition ally, Speaker of Parliament Boris Kollár. But the reactions to his and his government’s performance in foreign policy have been less critical.

Matovič stuck to tradition and made his first foreign trip to the Czech Republic. But his next, to Budapest shortly after the centenary of the Trianon treaty, under which Hungary lost much of its then territory, including what is modern-day Slovakia, was seen by observers as a success for Slovakia’s foreign policy.

Slovak-Hungarian relations have at times been difficult in the past and authoritarian Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán has a tendency to try and overshadow foreign partners. But Matovič managed to avoid a similar fate.

“His performance and the topics he discussed with Orbán took the wind out of the Hungarians’ sales,” Tomas Strážay, an expert on the Visegrad Group at the Slovak Foreign Policy Association think tank, told The Slovak Spectator. Matovič managed to set the agenda rather than just go along with the issues Orbán would typically focus on, he explained.

No more disunity

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