Electronic Library of Scientific Literature
Vol. V / No 1 / May 1996
National consciousness is one of the essential components of the movement
of a human society. Objectively, it is an inevitable link in accepting
natural and social conditions by a human being. Thus, it is not an ideal
fiction as the product of a cognitive activity, but a real value as the
assumption and simultaneously the resultant of a creative human activity.
Thus, it is natural, that with changing social conditions the possibilities and the heading of the formation of national consciousness are changing as well. The calm surface of national life has been stirred up by the changes, which were brought about both by the collapse of the fascist powers (Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan) after the end of World War II and by the fall of former socialist block after the November Revolution. Movements and tendencies were excited, within which relatively often initiatives were taken over by nationalistic orientated groups, who have intensified their national intolerance up to an ethnic cleansing and a physical extermination of other nations. The Slovak national movement has been an extraordinary positive example of how to take advantage of an emerged space of freedom and it has resulted in the creation of the Slovak Republic as the first democratic state in the history of Slovaks.
The national movements has considerably different forms and dimensions in America, mainly in the United States of America. A new American nation is formed from a plenty of ethnic groups here. There are no obstacles in its democratic conditions to be thrown in the way of creation of ethnic communities, which are founding their educational societies and libraries, building churches and temples, publishing newspapers. In spite of this, the citizens in this country primarily feel themselves to be Americans.
The highest form of national movement is contemporarily represented by the European integration proceeding. An integration makes greater demands on a right orientation in the conditions of national existence, maintains a critical justification of possibilities and thus reinforces the significance of national consciousness in this proceeding.
Slovak Republic is a newly emerged subject of the international law.
It has been recognised de iure by the contemporary international community
and accepted as a fully qualified member for both multilateral and bilateral
relations in all fields of international life as well.
The author of the study presented occupies himself by one of these domains — cultural diplomacy, the basis of which one are the cultural agreements between and among states, as representing significant components of international relations and international policy.
Both bilateral and multilateral cooperations in the domain of culture are considered priorities of the foreign relations of the Ministry of Culture of Slovak Republic. In the frame of multilateral cooperation we are extraordinary interested in a close multilateral cooperation with UNO, EU, CoE and UNESCO as well as with other international organisations, which are contributing to the reinforcement of international cultural relations through their standardising activity.
Cultural agreements as well as other legal documents (declarations, resolutions) are legal instruments of this cooperation between and among states and international organisations.
In the further part of his paper the author describes the preparatory proceedings of inter-state cultural agreements and gives individual concrete examples.
To maintaining both international peace and security remain the first-rank
and fundamental aims of all the humankind. These aims get their new significance
in today's conditions, they are completed with new meanings and they require
to find out new ways and new means to reach it.
The problem of elimination of the threat of a nuclear war is placed into the forefront by the political realism, while the question of how to secure international and national security is required. When justifying the questions of war and peace, the sovereignty of states, the untouchableness of their frontiers as well as their right for either an individual or a collective self-defence were always put the emphasis upon by states. Then from this latter the author derives, that both physical and moral ability of a state to defend itself successfully against an external source of threat should be understood under the term of national security. A liable and firm national security is directly combined with ensuring international security. The several states' approach, that the security could be ensured only through a military power, while its limitation or reduction, could lead to its substantial degradation, is unsustainable.
The humankind can find itself on the verge of a new stage of development, which can even more substantially influence the development of military technologies. Those resorting to considerations of limited, quick or tedious nuclear wars are still under the influence of worn-away stereotypes, when a war was an immense misfortune, but there was no threat of destruction of the humankind as there is today. The nuclear age dictates a new political thinking inevitably.
The political and economic development of cities exactly in Slovakia
was in a decisive way determined by the lively political and historical
events, which were taking place in the 16.-17.centuries. A dense urbanised
network of cities of all public law categories extended on a relatively
small geographical area as compared to Hungary as a whole. Free royal cities
were among those most frequently represented — the cities of the first
category — as the most developed merchant, mining and artisan cities. The
most significant group of them were so-called civitates tavernicales
(tavernical cities), whose designation is derived from the designation
of a highly ranked public administrator — magister tavernicorum
(tavernicus), who presided their appellation court. A relatively high number
of them is an expressive indicator of a significant function of Slovakia
as well as of its active contribution to the political, economic and legal
development of Hungary. Moreover, after the Battle of Mohács in
1526 the genuine Hungarian Kingdom was impersonated by the territory of
Slovakia and Bratislava, after Budapest having been occupied by Turks,
became the official seat of central administration and state power of the
Hungarian state. It was due to this fact, that the cities in Slovakia and
namely their economic potential were, on one side, becoming a significant
factor in the power and political struggle for the Hungarian throne. The
significance of their role in the political life of the country thus increased.
On the other side, as a result, the impact of an unfavourable internal
political situation compelled them to protect the whole system of immunities
and privileges, which had been constantly violated by various interventions.
These circumstances determined generally an active participation of the cities in the political, economic and legal life of the country. They partook more intensively in the solution of various matters and controversial situations through civic emissaries, a highly developed institution in the organisational structure of the cities. Even with a lag of centuries, credit can be given to their highly estimated abilities, toughness and skill when solving various situations and problems. Therefore the requirements for their skill and personal spotlessness fully corresponded to the developedness of the organisational forms of this institution. These requirements were given emphasis not only from the part of a given municipal council, as a highest municipal self-governing organ which used to entrust their emissaries with pursuing duties by cum plena facultate authorising documents and binding instructions, but from the part of the subjects with which the cities entried in negotiations as well. The activity of civic emissaries is referred to practically at all more significant bodies of state administration and various institutions. As we have on the basis of abundant references pointed out, the activity of civic emissaries was focused on three main domains: towards the Royal Court and central dignitaries of state administration, towards the activity of country's Diet and towards tavernical court as a appellate judicial body of the tavernical cities.
The activity of civic emissaries towards the Royal Court was determined both by the circumstances, resulting from the relations between the sovereign and the cities, and the consequences of the specific political situation of a given historical era. In the cases of violations of civic privileges, the cities searched for protection from the part of either the sovereign or the tavernicus. That is to say, that this latter one was in charge of a part of sovereign's jurisdiction in the domain of the supervision over cities and a judicial jurisdiction as well. The tavernicus' competencies were also those of a mediator between the sovereign and the cities in the domain of civic privileges protection. It was therefore the cities' concern about how to influence his designation, so as this dignitary to be sympathetic with their interests. The civic emissaries at the Royal Court were charged of this task. The means chosen in order to protect the interests of the cities varied from commonly formulated standpoints, common meetings of emissaries to both complaint grievance and redress petition submissions to the sovereign or the tavernicus. The activity of emissaries at the Royal Court were completed by their partaking in forming statutory documents, legal codes and civic rights codification as well as their sanctioning by the sovereign. It was one of the demonstrations of protection of cities from an unfavourable impact of political events in the country on the system of rights and privileges. Those most skilled and those best law-educated emissaries were selected, while not only a diplomatic skill but an extensive and practical knowledge were required from them as well.
Similarly, the jurisdictional competence of central state administration dignitaries made further space for the operation of civic emissaries. A wide scale of political, legal and economic matters used to be negotiated. Also here did the emissaries show their skill and abilities. Various ways of their proceedings and means were chosen, from interventions, submission and conveying information to the submission of written petitions and resolutions.
From the viewpoint competence, the Diet, as a supreme legislative body, held its significant position in the relation with cities. It is to say, that the activity of this body directly referred to and defined the legal form of the position of cities in all fields of their life. The task of emissaries in this body was not easy due to the facts that, on one side, organisational structure of the Diet did not guarantee a stabile representation of cities and, on the other side, they disposed, regardless the number of the cities present, of only one vote in the voting procedure. Therefore the selection of emissaries was subject to strict criteria and an goood informatedness on public matters was inevitable. Due to an increased compelling force of the nobility the activity of emissaries was presumably focused on opposing to the legal documents, which used to violate the immunities and privileges of cities. In this matter effective forms of common organised proceedings were chosen by the emissaries, e.g. legal documents passed by the Diet were contradicted by protest at competent bodies or common gatherings of all the interested cities were organised, etc. They submitted the claims for sanctioning of privileges and amended legal codes.
The tavernical court, seated in Bratislava from 1531, as second-stage judicial appellate body of tavernical cities which represented a separated domain of the activity of emissaries. The delegated emissaries of relevant tavernical cities were the members of judges' board. Not only controversial issues of citizens, but actual problems of all the domains of city life as well were treated at these courts. Already from the nature of this activity can be deduced that the emissaries, apart from a good informatedness on public matters, presumably were connoisseurs of civic law. many of them worked actively in judicial practice of municipal councils as first-stage courts. They acted so as to hinder the influence and regulations of the aristocratic law from its penetrating into the judicial practice of this court. Except for this activity, the emissaries made themselves useful as skilled legislation creators. Their common legislative activity is apparent in the creation of statutes (ius statuendi) as legal norms which, apart from procedural matters, governed actual social and economic issues of cities as well.
It can be deduced from individual domains of the activity of emissaries, that the exactness of their mission and pursuing the given tasks were determined by the complexity of political, economic and legal position of the tavernical cities in Slovakia in historical turmoil of the contemporary events of both internal and international political character. The invention of their approaches to demanding tasks, a wide scale of methods, means, measures and sophisticated proceedings has undoubtedly become a source of knowledge a experience for next generations in the domain of diplomacy.
The author of the paper presented, who is an employee of the Ministry
of Economy of Slovak Republic, has prepared a brief analysis of the Central
European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). The whole wording of the document
is published (per partes in three sequels) in the part Dokumenty, pramene
The CEFTA Agreement was signed among Czech Republic, Hungarian Republic, Polish Republic and Slovak Republic on December 22, 1992 and entried into force from January 1, 1993. The gradual trade liberalisation, i.e. customs abolition in mutual trade among contractive parties, has been the aim of the CEFTA Agreement. The advantageousness of the commercial cooperation has shown itself within 3 years. The mutual sales turnover among CEFTA countries has increased. From the viewpoint of Slovakia, this increase was by 6% in 1994 and by almost 20 in 1995.
The author gives a detailed analysis of the 1995 activity of the CEFTA association in the further part of his paper, he refers to the activities of the Slovak Government for 1996, when Slovak Republic will become the presiding country of the CEFTA association.