Slovakia in the EU. An Unexpected Success Story?

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Series Details No.6, May 2014
Publication Date May 2014
ISSN 2191-4869
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Slovakia has emerged as an unlikely success story of the 2004 EU enlargement. The country’s first decade as a member state was marked by robust growth – spurred by pro-market reforms of the early 2000s – and relative economic resilience and political stability during the global economic crisis.

Thematic priorities on the EU level have included cohesion policy, energy, EU enlargement, and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP). Slovak diplomacy has seen regional groupings – above all the Visegrad format – as the most effective way of pursuing its policy preferences. As the only eurozone member in the Visegrad Group (V4), Slovakia remains a reliable if somewhat passive supporter of deeper European integration, supporting a fiscally responsible approach. This policy course reflects a broad pro-European consensus among relevant political actors in Bratislava and continued public support for EU and eurozone membership.

Going forward, Slovakia faces steep structural challenges (high unemployment, regional disparities, social exclusion of Roma), and needs to recalibrate its export-led and industry-heavy growth model toward higher added value and innovation.

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