The recording of the panel discussion titled “Slovakia’s Elections: Domestic and International Implications” organized on October 4, 2023, is now available on AUTHLIB’s YouTube channel.
The parliamentary elections in Slovakia generated much international attention and concern. After a tumultuous year that brought the fall of Eduard Heger’s OL’aNO-led government, the snap polls on September 30 were shaping up to be close, unpredictable, and consequential.The return of former prime minister Robert Fico and his Smer-SD party to government seemed most likely as they led in the polls since the spring. The party’s victory may not only further deepen the domestic challenges to Slovakia’s democracy but also result in a shift in the country’s commitment to its international allies and support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, should Fico deliver on his increasingly pro-Russia campaign rhetoric once in power. Supported by the democratically inclined part of the electorate, Michal Šimečka’s Progressive Slovakia was the party that stood the best chance to challenge Smer-SD with a program that promised the continuation of the country’s pro-European foreign policy. Yet, as the subsequent results showed, neither of these two parties could form a government alone. The performance of several small parties, including Hlas, proved to be decisive. In the wake of Slovakia’s parliamentary elections, this panel explored the internal political and societal dynamics that preceded the elections, assessed the results and the coalition options, and gauged their potential consequences on the country’s politics and foreign policy, especially its relations with the European Union, NATO, and Russia.
Pavol Demeš, Visiting Distinguished Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Roman Hlatky, Assistant Professor, University of North Texas
Zuzana Kepplová, Columnist and Editor, SME
Zsuzsanna Végh, Visiting Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States