Electronic Library of Scientific Literature - © Academic Electronic Press
Vol. XI / No 2 / 2002
ŠTÚDIE, ANALÝZY - STUDIES, ANALYSIS
3 Vladimír Leška
Slovensko – nadějný uchazeč o členství v NATO?
Slovakia – Prospective Candidate for a NATO Membership?
35 Roman Laml
Bezpečnostná politika Slovenska vo vzťahu k bezpečnostnej politike Aliancie
Slovak Security Policy in Relation to the Security Policy of the Alliance
53 Matúš Korba – Vladimír Kmec
Kritériá členstva v NATO – civilná kontrola armády
NATO Membership Criteria – Civil Control of Armed Forces
69 František Škvrnda
K stavu a perspektívam slovenskej bezpečnostnej politiky
About Status and Perspectives of the Slovak Security Policy
90 Roman Goga – Jozef Malankevič
Európske občianstvo ako vyšší stupeň medzinárodnej suverenity
European Citizenship as a Higher Degree of International Sovereignty
112 Olga Sidorenková
Evolution of Policies Related to the External
Border of the European Union – External Dimension of the Movement of
Vývoj politík vzťahujúcich sa na vonkajšie hranice EÚ – vonkajšia dimenzia pohybu osôb
ÚVAHY, ROZPRAVY, ROZHOVORY - REFLECTIONS, TRANSACTIONS, INTERVIEWS
132 Andrea Matisová
Prístupový proces Slovenska do Európskej únie
European Union Accession Process of Slovakia
153 Sandra Štichová
Európska identita: realita alebo utópia?
The European Identity: Reality or Utopia?
164 Zuzana Lamplová
Názory Maďarov na vstup Slovenskej republiky do EÚ a NATO
Opinion of Hungarians on the EU and NATO Accession of the Slovak Republic
173 Martin Siska
Prečo má Európska únia záujem o Slovenskú republiku?
Why should the European Union be Interested in Integration of the Slovak Republic?
The terrorist attack of 11 September 2001 against the United States in a dramatic way called attention of the world politicians to necessity of much more consistent respect of conclusions of theoretical institutes dealing with security issues. The North Atlantic Alliance as a basis of collective defence of European and North American countries and materialization of the Trans Atlantic linkage among them reacted to security challenges of future in its doctrinal level already in 1991, but namely during the Washington Summit in April 1999 in its Strategic Concept.
The Washington Summit Communiqué of 24 April 1999 announced creation of a ”new Alliance corresponding to tasks of future”. It was supposed to be bigger, more able, more flexible, focused on collective defence, able to take over new missions, and co-operate with other nations and organisations in pursuing security, prosperity and democracy in the whole Euro Atlantic space. Resolve to continue the Alliance enlargement process was confirmed and the Membership Action Plan (MAP) for candidate countries was adopted.
The November NATO Summit in Prague is going to be another possibility for deeper specification of the line drawn by the previous meeting of this supreme body. Not only the historical experience of the 11 September 2001 but of uniting power and means for the anti-terrorist fight, as well, will influence its course and results, not speaking about decision concerning future enlargement of the Alliance.
Today no one doubts the Prague Summit will invite further states aspiring to a NATO membership. Slovakia should not be missing in the group. But there is visible difference in philosophy between the first enlargement wave and the second one.
Slovak political representatives who after the parliamentary election in 1998 replaced the government of V. Mečiar, interpreted reasons for Slovakia’s specific situation in relation to NATO as a temporary falling behind caused by political blunders of the previous garniture.
All responsible state representatives immediately after forming new constitutional bodies within their competences joined the well thought through political and diplomatic campaign with the aim to demonstrate unequivocally determination to return Slovakia into the group of neighbouring states, which gained the biggest successes in their integration efforts.
Major foreign policy priorities of the new government immediately after its creation were: to remove the SR’s handicap in NATO and EU integration process; to substantially improve relations with neighbours, mainly with the CR and Hungary; to overcome effects of starting international isolation of Slovakia; and to renew trust of representatives of world democratic powers to its politicians. The highest rung was secured for a requirement ”to gain a full-fledged NATO membership”. The timetable for it was the shortest one possible.
The wider context and unofficial information even then made known that Slovakia’s backwardness in its integration route would not be so easy as some imagined it to be. Political preparedness criteria became even more difficult for NATO accession comparing with the candidates of the first wave.
M. Dzurinda’s Cabinet in pursuing integration goals besides others used favourable atmosphere created around relations of Slovakia with its neighbours, which became NATO members. Each of them had a strategic interest in Slovakia being a member of the same integrational groupings where they belonged to or could become members of in a short time. The M. Dzurinda’s government oriented its foreign policy activities essentially on mutual co-operation intensification. Co-operation within the renewed Visegrad group became an important platform for the SR’s integration objectives pursuance.
Policy of the Cabinet of M. Dzurinda vitally assisted substantial improvement of relations with Hungary. To include SMK into the governmental coalition was the most important step in this tendency. Even though not all problems were solved the way to fully satisfy both parts, much more sound atmosphere visibly facilitated strengthening stability in Central European region and international position of Slovakia.
Hungary as a new NATO member by the SR’s NATO integration gains military policy compactness of the Central European space and territorial connection with major NATO powers. Allegiance of the SR and MR to the same integrational groupings may ease solving future bilateral problems in a field of minority politics. Representatives of Hungary joined politicians of the CR and Poland in support of the Slovakia’s endeavour to achieve accession into European and Trans Atlantic structures.
The Slovak Cabinet relied mainly on initiatives of the Czech Republic, whose politicians expressed a big interest in renewing activities in a Visegrad Four platform. Namely in a situation when the SR did not became a NATO member it was considered a proper framework for political and security co-operation of Central European countries.
Even though foreign policy changes pursued by the Cabinet of M. Dzurinda supported improvement of international status of Slovakia and noteworthy increased its European and Trans Atlantic integration background, that were mainly adopted measures that led to a home policy change.
Local elections were ensured (December 1998), political and legislative conditions for direct election of a head of state (May 1999), adoption of the Constitution Amendment (February 2001) and start of the Public Administration Reform (July 2001) put a basis not only for the EU and NATO countries legislation approximation but public administration decentralisation with requirements of a modern democratic state, as well.
Needed stabilizing economic measures adopted by the new government brought many sacrifices largely in a social sphere. But had a sound effect. Reached economic results were much more positive (though not as positive as wished) than those reflecting economic policy effectiveness of the previous government. International status of the SR after assumption of power by the government of M. Dzurinda and increased rating and OECD accession helped increase foreign investor’s trust in the entrepreneurial environment.
But not all fields developed according to the politicians’ aspirations and in consonance with interests of the Slovak society. The most serious economic but also social problem of the SR was high unemployment. Health care, education and social sphere called for people’s gloomy mood, as well. Though there was no threat that the Slovak society leaves the started route and the country got closer to plural democracy and rule of law standards. Slovakia was considered a promising candidate of the next EU and NATO enlargement.
Neither this argument persuaded citizens about relative success of the governmental coalition that in polls showed much lower preferences than were the 1998 election result. It was caused by perception of results reached in hope policy scene. And this is a reason for the question mark in the title of this paper.
Activities of the M. Dzurinda’s Cabinet to bring his country closer to the NATO membership can be called purposive, convincing and more or less unanimous. They were held in three levels – diplomatic, institutional and military-expert one. Position during the Kosovo crisis was used as the main argument to confirm an unequivocal direction of the foreign policy. But also other steps were emphasized.
The Governmental Resolution to the Programme for Ensuring Preparation of the Slovak Republic for the NATO Membership from the beginning of May 1999 gave the basis for the SR’s NATO membership preparation intensification according to the MAP requirements. The National Programme of Preparation of the SR for he NATO Membership (NP PRENAME) was based on it. The Government committed itself to ”behave as a de facto member of the Alliance”, though the SR is still not a member de iure yet.
Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Internal Affairs not always managed to carry out tasks based on adopted documents in given time schedule, required quantity and quality. Partnership goals set unrealistically and inability to ensure some priorities from personal, material and namely financial side caused it. The situation of the end of 1999 and 2000 in fulfilment the partnership goals within military-expert preparation of Slovakia for the NATO accession became disturbing. Most of the objections concentrated on policy of the then minister P. Kanis. After a further corruption suspicion he abdicated on 2 January 2001.
The most important declared NATO orientation task of the new Minister of Defence J. Stank was an increase of trustworthiness of the Army, the Ministry and the country in the eyes of abroad. He also saw necessity of more vigorous approach.
Already the first steps in his new position showed he had necessary abilities for successful pursue of a non-party approach in solving problems of the country defence. He made work of the Ministry of Defence and the General Staff of the Army of the SR more conceptual and systematic, he contributed to removal of competence disputes and created a space for wide realization of expert qualities and personal capabilities of his State Secretaries and other subordinates. By realistic attitude to partnership goals and consistency in their ensuring he soon won authority among his subordinates, trust of the North Atlantic Treaty representatives and respect of media.
One of the important indicators of inclusion of opposition into the national security decision-making process was adoption of doctrinal documents Security Strategy (March 2001), Defence Strategy (May 2001) and Military Strategy (October 2001) by the parliament. Another persuasive confirmation of consensual approach of main coalition and opposition powers was adoption of the Constitutional Bill on State Security in Time of War, State of War, Crisis and State of Emergency for which in April 2002 all 113 present members of the parliament voted. It gives system guarantees of security policy continuity. In the international meaning it creates legal conditions for fulfilment collective security obligations anchored in the Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
The department of defence intensified also structural changes process to make the whole defence system of the SR more effective. Materials ”Proposal of Armed Forces – the 2010 Model” and ”Long-term Plan of the Development of Armed Forces of the SR” – very positively met by the official NATO representatives are the biggest success of preparation of Slovakia for the membership in the North Atlantic Alliance.
Slovakia takes active part also in peacekeeping missions. In 2001 it doubled number of its soldiers abroad to 760 persons. This includes also the Czech-Slovak Battalion in Kosovo within the KFOR forces and Polish-Czech--Slovak brigade according to the NATO standards whose headquarters and staff have been located to Slovakia since May 2002.
Steps of military preparation of Slovakia for the NATO membership are highly appraised by military experts and diplomats. It resulted from discussion results of the SR’s Progress in Preparation for the NATO Membership Report and the wider evaluation of the SR in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at the ambassadors level in a 19+1 form. This is also the most important material for preparation of a basic recommendation for the November Prague Summit.
From the upper paragraphs one can conclude the SR’s NATO accession is supported not only by the whole coalition but also the strongest opposition subject – HZDS-LS. Major political powers consensus reflects into the growing public support of the SR’s NATO accession (according to the polls of 2002 about 60 % of inhabitants support SR’s NATO membership).
Though Slovakia belongs to the best-prepared candidates and majority of parliamentary political parties and public supports its Alliance accession, it is not excluded that it will not receive invitation during the Prague Summit. The controversial discussion will definitely finish by the communiqué of the meeting. But before, in September 2002 parliamentary election are held in Slovakia. The result may indicate a lot. Wide polemics so in Slovakia as in abroad are held about the key reason why Slovakia might not be invited to the defence grouping of which three neighbour states are already members.
Foreign Affairs Minister E. Kukan after his return from the NAC meeting stated that concerning practical preparedness – all five MAP chapters accomplishment there is no obstacle for the Slovak invitation to NATO. He reminded the key importance of NATO membership political criteria. The NAC meeting participants expect that the electorate will play a chief role in the process of NATO invitation preparation for the SR. It depends on confidence of the NATO member countries in the new Slovak government.
The ”trustworthiness” is sometimes even abused in the Slovak political scene in the pre-election struggle. But it is a sovereign right of every government of a NATO member state to assess individual candidates according to its own criteria. It is based in the Article 10 of the Washington Treaty.
According to the Czech Ambassador to NATO K. Kovanda by the end of 2001 at least one member country was not willing to support invitation of the SR into NATO in a case of V. Mečiar in the Slovak Government. One also cannot exclude situation that it will not be possible to create a government without the strongest opposition subject. This will create a big dilemma for politicians of some NATO member countries: to accept decision of the Slovak electorate and in consonance with the Washington Summit documents saying among others that new NATO members accession is ”a part of a wider strategy of spreading stability and co-operation with our partners in building Europe united and free” and join others and support SR’s invitation to NATO or insist on a stance against V. Mečiar as a person who does not have place in a defence community of democratic countries and thus exclude Slovakia from it.
Politicians and experts form the North Atlantic Alliance member countries in such a situation will consider all ”pros” and ”againsts”. Even existence of a government unacceptable for any NATO member country may back international isolation of Slovakia and calling it the cause of further ruining integrational ambitions of the SR. And no one can exclude negative reactions of the frustrated government, action in contrary to proclamations of politicians from the time of opposition. Exclusion of Slovakia from the community of states seeking higher security based on a principle of collective defence, I think, would be counter productive and would not help neither the process of stability strengthening in the Central European Space.
This article is focused on the Slovak security policy in relation to the NATO security policy.
The security policy of the Slovak Republic is also formed with relation to the Slovak integration ambitions and interests. Both the elaboration and approval of the security policy strategic documents are the integral part of the Slovakia’s preparation process for NATO membership.
The most of the NATO member states work with similar strategic documents. This fact makes a possibility to compare the security policy of individual countries. The process of elaboration of the security, defence and military strategies of the Slovak Republic has been taken after the Washington Summit and therefore the shape of the security strategy was, to a large extent, also influenced by the conclusions of the NATO Washington Summit, notably by the adopted new Alliance’s Strategic Concept.
The mutual comparison of the Security Strategy of the Slovak Republic and Alliance’s Strategic Concept enables to consider the compatibility of the Slovak security strategy in relation to the Alliance’s security strategy.
The third part of the Alliance’s Strategic Concept called the Approach to Security in the 21st Century was used for above-mentioned type of comparison. This document defines seven pillars of the NATO approach concerning collective security:
Comparison of the security policy approaches shows that the Security Strategy of the Slovak Republic is a document reflecting both the starting points and basic principles of the Alliance’s Strategic Concept. The former represents an expression of the compatibility between the Slovak security strategy and the security strategy of the Alliance.
Apart from comparisons in terms of above-mentioned seven areas, we can find similarity in both the comprehension of the security environment and instruments of its influencing, the closeness in the comprehension of both the security risks and instruments of their solution.
The mutual compatibility of these documents is the most visible in the implementation stage. It means that the Slovak Republic is actively supporting the Alliance through the Slovak involvement into KFOR missions.
The second part of this contribution is dealing with the potential tendencies of the development of the Alliance’s security policy. The Alliance’s security concept has been reflecting the changes in the security environment. New challenges are arising and the relevant instruments must be adopted to the changed security situation. In its strategic concept, the Alliance has already made an important contribution to this process with its reappraisal of stability transfer, crisis management and conflict prevention.
There is a possibility to deduce some partial conclusions concerning a development of Alliance’s security policy. The terrorist attacks against the USA have strengthened the tendency towards the readiness to put into life a preventive military operation; if it is necessary beyond the Euro-Atlantic borders.
NATO as a Euro-Atlantic community is to produce an effective response. It must adopt its institutions to be better able to preserve security in this new environment. But the important principles on which NATO’s success has been built are still valid: the stabilizing benefits of integration; the importance of preserving the transatlantic link; and the necessity of maintaining effective armed forces.
There is a possibility to suppose an aspiration to apply an approach according to the Quadrennial Defense Review creating better preconditions for more effective development of required military capabilities. The advance could come into being in the more comprehensive comprehension of both the security and defence policies: it means a tendency to strengthen involving the armed forces in solution of non-military as well as the combined security challenges and risks. The necessity to give an appropriate response could be a reason for changes in the Alliance decision-making processes.
NATO’s Prague Summit in November will accomplish all of these goals. It will mark a transformation in NATO’s capacity to tackle terrorism, and other new or asymmetric threats. And at the same time, the Summit will also take forward major projects already underway in the Alliance to build peace and security right across Europe.
In an uncertain world, NATO is the embodiment of the transatlantic bond, the fundamental guarantor of Euro-Atlantic stability and security, and the essential platform for defence co-operation and coalition operations.
There is a possibility to expect that the Slovak Republic’s NATO membership can be followed by these changes: Slovakia will become on the one hand the East-border of the Alliance and on the other hand the contributor to the Euro Atlantic security policy. Slovakia’s integration into NATO means a basic increase of its significance in the world-wide policy and joint responsibility for international security as well.
The accession to the treaty on common defence means also a reciprocal transfer of risks. Security risks of the Slovak Republic will become the risks of allies and vice versa the security risks of each NATO member country directly affect the Slovak Republic. Slovakia will be a part of decision-making process within the Alliance; it will take standpoint to the NATO internal development which is now perceived by Slovakia from the partnership country position.
In the future, Slovakia will be fully involved into other discussed topics of NATO security policy (e.g. decision-making process, an approach to the unbalanced armed forces). Therefore it is necessary to consider Slovak position within these as well as other potential topics.
The invitation of the Slovak Republic to access NATO could, on the one hand, conclude one historical chapter and on the other hand, to open a new, more exacting one.
The Prague Summit is not only about enlargement, it is also about the NATO internal transformation and adaptation: the Alliance must be able to response relevant challenges and risks; it must be a decisive factor of the global security environment. The Alliance embodies the transatlantic link by which the security of North America is permanently tied to the security of Europe. It is the practical expression of effective collective effort among its members in support of their common interests. And Slovakia must be ready to be both the trustworthy and high quality part of the Alliance and to take responsibility for secure and stable Europe. The NATO Summit will be a summit of strategic decisions that have a long-term effect on Slovakia’s development and position in its geo-political region.
In case of the Slovak Republic, the significance of the civil-military relations issue increases in connection with its foreign policy and security orientation towards NATO. Along with three political criteria of membership, within discussions on the second round of NATO enlargement, two special criteria – compatibility and interoperability of the armed forces and the ”civil control” of the Slovak armed forces are brought into the foreground. In this context, it is necessary to raise the question: Is Slovakia prepared for meeting special criteria of NATO membership? Since a generally accepted opinion prevails that the Slovak Republic has already coped with establishing the system of democratic control and civil accountability of armed forces, and has no problems in the sphere of civil-military relations. However, the reality is that the process of the creation of a balanced pattern of these relations has not been completed yet. It is above all because civil-military relations are underdeveloped on the informal level and the system of democratic control and civil accountability of the Slovak armed forces is limited by the inadequately formed security community.
The year 1989 opened up the possibility of transforming a political system and restructuring its character into the form established in Western democracies. These processes also affected the armed forces, which went through several phases in the process of transformation of civil-military relations and the formation of a system of democratic control and civil accountability. After November 1989 the separation of the Czechoslovak Armed Forces from the Communist Party took place as the swiftest phase, which was quite foreseeable given the urgent need of the new political elite to deprive the former regime of its power instruments. The next phase was depolitization and a ban on any party activity inside the armed forces. These steps were taken even before the establishment of the Slovak Armed Forces within the Czechoslovak Federative Republic, and laid the foundations for further progress in this area for the period to come. After 1993 the Slovak Republic resumed the process of the adjustment of the armed forces to mechanism of democratic control on the formal level – on the part of the Government, Parliament and other state authorities. Legislative standards were formulated and laid down within a constitutional framework, whereby civil-military relations were institutionalized and systems of their functioning were constituted.
In contrast to the relatively well-established formal level of civil-military relations, the informal level is only crystallizing in Slovakia’s circumstances. In this connection public opinion is the most transparent manifestation of the relationship between society and the armed forces. At the same time it is an effective mean of the civil accountability of the Slovak Armed Forces. On the informal level, along with the aforementioned overview, there exists also an institutionalized element of civil accountability, i.e. non-governmental organizations. They are the direct partner of governmental institutions for co-operation in the spheres of security policy and defense within principles of democratic civil-military relations. The presence of powerful civil accountability on the part of public opinion, civilian experts on security (as part of the security community), as well as the existence of non-governmental organizations active in the sphere of security policy is an essential prerequisite for the standard Western model of civil-military relations. A balance between the formal and the informal level of civil-military relations is extremely important and its absence generates potential risks.
After the removal of internal-political limitations of 1994-98, more favorable circumstances were created for completing the transformation of the A SR and establishing civil-military relations of standard Western type. From the perspective of the democratic control and civil accountability of the SR Army, as one of the priority criteria of the NATO membership in the second wave of its enlargement, in connection with the balance of civil-military relations Slovakia is confronted with the task of strengthening their informal level. Although under the pressure of the political situation immediately after November 1989 the first steps in the process of the transformation of civil-military relations were taken very swiftly and in close succession, the final step to conclude this process is to be taken. It is in fact necessary to complete the formation of the security community.
The security community is made up of governmental and non-governmental experts. The first group includes professionals working in the national security system, such as servicemen as well as civilians working in control bodies of the state apparatus and in the armed forces themselves. In connection with the global trend of the transformation of the character of armed forces after the Cold War, the mingling of the traditional role of a professional soldier and the role of a bureaucrat and manager has intensified, and thus, according to A. Perlmutter, a classic of the theory of civil-military relations, a model of a ”corporate professional” is strengthened. This shift is also reflected in the democratic control of armed forces, since the current national security system requires military experts with the knowledge of both security policy and international relations and civilian experts well-grounded in security and military questions. The second group of the security community is made up of civilian experts active in the non-governmental sphere – independent ”think-tanks”, academic workplaces and the media.
With respect to the functionality of the formal level of civil-military relations in Slovakia, it is necessary that the first group of the security community – the professionals of the national security system – work not only in the SR Defense Ministry and the armed forces, but also in other state’s institutions. With adjusting the SR national security system to NATO standards, the demand for well-prepared specialists will increase even in other governmental agencies and the SR National Council. The reform of the SR defense system, which is an integral part of the national security system, will require the involvement of security experts in such departments as the SR Ministry of Economy, the SR Interior Ministry, the SR Finance Ministry, the SR Ministry of Transport, Post Offices and Telecommunications, inasmuch as so far the relevant posts have been held by professional or one-time soldiers. However, the real preparation of security experts complies with increasing requirements neither from a quantitative nor a qualitative standpoint. The implementation of the Programme Declaration of the SR Government of 1998, stating that ”it will establish an institute for the preparation of highly qualified experts in the areas of security, defense and crisis management and will stimulate the development and enforcement of new trends in military thinking”, has not begun yet.
With respect to a balance of civil-military relations in Slovakia on their informal level, it is necessary that the second group of the security community, represented by civilian experts from the non-governmental sphere, be systematically reinforced. Its support is vital to balance both the parts of the security community. It is only in this way that one of the most serious drawbacks in the sphere of civil-military relations in Slovakia – the undeveloped security community, may be removed. Its accelerated establishment may thus create better conditions for civil accountability of the A SR on the informal level of these relations in the foreseeable future, thereby pushing Slovakia closer to a thorough fulfillment of one of the special criteria of NATO membership.
Countries under transition, a group to which Slovakia belongs too, have had to face the challenge of constituting their own type of democratic civil-military relations. It was so much more significant task because the subordination of the Slovak Armed Forces to the principles of democratic control and civil accountability was a prerequisite for ensuring the successful operation of the new regime. Its role was hampered by the absence of democratic traditions in this sphere. It had a limiting impact on the formation of balanced relations between the A SR and society on the model of Western countries. The formation of a democratic type of civil-military relations has begun during the existence of the Czechoslovak Federative Republic, and represents a complex and complicated process. That cannot be regarded as completed even at present, eight years after the inception of the independent Slovak Republic.
In this sphere the SR Government set for itself the goal to build standard and balanced relations between the A SR and society, which would reflect basic principles of democratic control and civil accountability. The creation of such a type of civil-military relations and its establishment in practice is a fulfillment of a fundamental prerequisite for mutual co-existence of the A SR and society. At the same time it is a guarantee of ensuring the effective defense of the Slovak Republic against the existing risks and possible threats, as well as a guarantee of the protection of the current democratic regime against the possible abuse of the A SR for political goals. Thus the implementation of the democratic type of civil-military relations has in fact created one of the most important framework characteristics of the Slovak Republic’s security policy, since it represents one of the primary guarantees that democracy will be maintained.
The Slovak Republic successfully completed the first phase of the creation of the balanced position of the A SR in society. The standard type of civil-military relations was constituted on their formal level, fundamental principles of the democratic control of the armed forces also proved their worth in practice. It was the period of the first six years of the A SR’s existence, during which this type of civil-military relations proved to be resistant to external and internal political influences, which jeopardized its democratic character for a time. In order to end this process, a successful completion of the second phase including the formation of the informal level of these relations is necessary, because its building was not a priority in 1993-98. In the short-time horizon the completion of the informal level becomes the last of significant tasks, and by its performance Slovakia will fully meet NATO standards in a particular criterion of NATO membership, i.e. the criterion of the democratic control and civil accountability of the A SR within standard and balanced civil-military relations. In this connection the creation of a system of the preparation of civilian experts on the security issue and the strengthening of the professional security community will be one of the crucial moments in successful progress.
In the year 2001 the National Council of the Slovak Republic approved three basic documents: the Security Strategy of the Slovak Republic, the Defence Strategy of the Slovak Republic and the Military Strategy of the Slovak Republic. Based on the results of their analyses, we give them consideration in terms of both the current situation and some main tendencies of the Slovak Republic security policy development. The subject matter focuses on three phenomena which create the contents of the above-mentioned documents: the security environment of the Slovak Republic, security risks and threats to the Slovak Republic and the security system of the Slovak Republic.
Security environment represents a concrete manifestation of the security situation in particular time and space. It is also connected with subjects operating within it as well as with their intentions, interests, activities, relationships etc. Security environment makes up a significant part of analyses on which security policy is based.
In the Security Strategy, security environment is characterised descriptively, setting out three dimensions of external security environment: world-wide security environment, European security processes and the security environment in Central Europe. There is no mentioning of internal security environment in the definition.
In terms of contents, the Defence Strategy only repeats ideas about security environment from the Security Strategy which is significantly reduced to the region of Central Europe. The Military Strategy, when characterising security environment, only refers to the ideas of the two previously adopted Strategies.
From the point of view of terminology, there is a conceptual confusion in the definition of security environment: terms of geostrategic and international environment are used, but they are dealt without further particulars. We find the disproportional relationship between the military and non-military aspects of the Slovak security a serious problem which has not been dealt with.
Security threats represent the most dynamic element of the security environment. The terminology of those parts concerned with security risks and threats is more varied than the one in the security environment area.
The Security Strategy comprises eleven security risks and threats which we have divided into two groups. Military threats represent the first group and contain only two phenomena: the risk of an outbreak of an extensive armed conflict and regional conflicts in unstable areas. The second group consists of nine non-military threats. We have divided them into seven socially and economically conditioned threats, environmental threats and specific threats connected with foreign intelligence services activities.
In the Defence Strategy, both security risks and threats are better arranged and divided into two groups: military and non-military security risks and threats. The Military Strategy mentions only military and non-military threats. Non-military threats are characterised as a significant factor in the overall security environment of Slovakia. The conclusion that the role of the armed forces is only that of accomplishing support when solving non-military threats. Consequently, the risk that the armed forces shall not respond to all of these non-military threats as promptly as the situation demands must be accepted and is correct. In this context it is necessary to repeat the question: who and which state agency can ensure an appropriate response to a crisis situation and which means will be used?
The review of the security risks in the aforementioned three strategies shows an effort to revise the approach to security risks and threats, but this approach is not internally consistent. In addition, in this area we can find a serious deficiency which has already appeared in the security environment section. Furthermore the issue of responding to non-military security threats is brought up only marginally. On the other hand, it is understandable because this topic can not be in the focal point of the both defence and military documents.
Considering the police and intelligence services point of view, we must state the fact that there is an obvious theoretical absence of elaboration of internal security issues. Security system is considered as a basic means through which the security policy implements its goals, functions and tasks.
The documents stress the importance of a system ensuring both security and defence. However, both the security system and defence system topics belong to the weakest point of the analysed documents.
The definition of the security system in the Security Strategy has a cybernetic or informative character rather than that of a security policy.
The defence system can be deduced from the Defence Strategy only by a hypothetical way through tasks which shall be fulfilled. It seems that the Security and Defence Strategies authors find hypertrophy of structural and functional side of systems the starting point and basic framework as well as the concept of these systems. It is a great pity to remark that these considerations have remained explicitly abstract or only in general theses on a level of competences and tasks. The Military Strategy only refers to the defence system.
Concerning the roles, missions and tasks of the armed forces, the document emphasizes the importance of the armed forces as a decisive component of the defence system. The individual strategies contain other critical points. It is worth giving a thought to the fact that there are too many different principles enumerated in the Strategies section.
The interpretation of relationships between the security and defence policies linked to the activity of the armed forces has a special place. Particularly in the Military Strategy we can find passages concerned with building, control and activity of the armed forces as well as related to defence planning which show conceptual benevolence so atypical for military documents.
Despite our reservation concerning both the contents and formulations in the above-mentioned Strategies, the efforts of the authors as well as their contribution to the elaboration of the subject matter must be appreciated. In a way, their efforts come to represent a great deal of courage in the Slovak political life as a whole (not only in a security and defence area) because there is a lack of this kind of documents. The Strategies give a solid base for discussion about the Slovak security policy. The current situation as well as future perspectives of the Slovak security policy, which is being founded, first of all, on our integration into NATO, can be characterised from the contents of these Strategies only in general indeed. We can see that the military and the military-political aspect are significantly preferred in practical implementation of security policy. Even though the importance of a complex view of the security issue is stressed in the Security Strategy, it is neither theoretically elaborated nor practically performed in the non-military security area. Both the lack of organization and a sense of incompleteness in the area of security policy can not be eliminated even by the approval of the Constitutional Draft on Security of the State in Wartime, State of War, State of Crisis and State of Emergency in the present form of the Act. The Act neither specifies in legal terms nor solves the problems of security conceived as a state of society’s life which is a natural and permanent state and it does not only appear in the four cases mentioned in the title of the Constitutional Draft.
Both security and security policy are considered in the analysed Strategies as multilevel social phenomena not reduced to a military dimension. Non-military aspect of the security still needs to be elaborated on from objective reasons.
Following the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1998, the Cologne European Council of 3 and 4 June 1999 decided to begin work on drafting a charter of fundamental rights to be completed by the end of 2000. The European Council considered that the fundamental rights applicable at the Union level should be consolidated in a Charter to raise awareness of them. The charter is to be based on the Community Treaties, international conventions such as the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and the 1989 European Social Charter, constitutional traditions common to the Member States and various European Parliament declarations.
The work has been entrusted to a special body – known today as the Convention – made up of sixty-two members including representatives of the Heads of State or Government and of the President of the European Commission and members of the European Parliament and national parliaments. Four representatives of the European Court of Justice, the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights participate as observers. The composition, working methods and practical arrangements of the Convention were adopted at the Tampere European Council (15-16 October 1999).
During the course of the work, which began on 17 December 1999, opinions are heard from the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the Ombudsman and any other body, social group or expert invited to put forward their views. Discussions will also be held between the drafting body and the applicant countries.
A drafting committee made up of the chairperson and vice-chairpersons of the Convention and the Commission representative will draw up a preliminary draft charter in consultation with the other members. On the basis of this text, the December 2000 European Council will propose that the European Parliament and the Commission jointly declare a European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights.
Approval of the Charter and the question of its incorporation in the Treaties form part of the debate on adopting a European constitution.
As set out in the Maastricht Treaty, any national of a Member State is a citizen of the Union. The aim of the European citizenship is to strengthen and consolidate European identity by greater involvement of citizens in the Community integration process. Thanks to the single market, citizens enjoy series of general rights in various areas such as free movement of goods and services, consumer protection and public health, equal opportunities and treatment, access to jobs and social protection.
The citizenship of the Union is dependent on holding the nationality of one of the Member States. In other words, anyone who is a national of a Member State is considered to be a citizen of the Union. In addition to the rights and duties laid down in the Treaty establishing the European Community, the Union citizenship confers special rights:
Although the exercise of these rights is dependent on European citizenship and is a subject to certain limitations laid down by the Treaties or secondary legislation, the right to apply to the Ombudsman or to petition to the European Parliament is open to all natural or legal persons residing in the Member States of the Union. Likewise, any person residing in the European Union has fundamental rights.
The Amsterdam Treaty completes the list of civic rights of Union citizens and clarifies the link between national citizenship and European citizenship.
The introduction of the notion of Union citizenship does not, of course, replace national citizenship: it is in addition to it. This gives the ordinary citizen a deeper and more tangible sense of belonging to the Union.
However, European citizens still encounter real obstacles, both practical and legal, when they wish to exercise their rights to free movement and residence in the Union.
Keď sa povie hranica či hranice, mnohým sa takmer automaticky vybaví hraničná čiara oddeľujúca dva suverénne štáty. Na základe vlastných skúsenosti však vieme, že zatiaľ čo prechod niektorých hraníc v Európe sotva zaregistrujeme, na iných sa môžeme stretnúť s prísnymi kontrolami. Zjednodušene povedané, hlavný rozdiel je spôsobený hraničným režimom, ktorému konkrétny štát podlieha. V tomto kontexte sú to na jednej strane členské štáty Európskej únie, na strane druhej tzv. tretie štáty, t. j. tie, ktoré nie sú členmi Únie. Rovnaký režim však neplatí ani v rámci všetkých členských štátov EÚ.
V prípade každého suverénneho štátu je otázka jeho hraníc so susednými krajinami veľmi citlivá. V rámci členských krajín Európskej únie sa v 80. rokoch 20. storočia rozprúdila debata o možnom zrušení kontrol osôb na ich spoločných hraniciach (vnútorné hranice Európskej únie). Nemožno sa čudovať, že sa tento návrh nestretol s pozitívnou odozvou. Čo vôbec viedlo niektoré krajiny k takému návrhu?
Preskočiac par desaťročí v histórii Európskeho spoločenstva, resp. Európskej únie, dostávame sa do roku 1987, keď presne 1. júla vstúpil do platnosti Jednotný európsky akt (Single European Act). Táto zmluva predstavuje prvý podstatný zásah do zakladajúcich zmlúv Európskeho spoločenstva. Jednotný európsky akt v článku 13 navrhuje doplnenie Zmluvy o EHS o článok 8a, ktorý obsahuje definíciu vnútorného či spoločného trhu.
V dôsledku prečíslovania ustanovení Zmluvy, ku ktorému došlo na základe zmien po prijatí Maastrichtskej a neskôr Amsterdamskej, je to v súčasnosti článok 14 Zmluvy o založení Európskeho spoločenstva.
Územie členských štátov Európskej únie tak súčasne predstavuje priestor vnútorného trhu. Práve v tejto súvislosti niektoré štáty iniciovali návrh na postupne zrušenie kontrol osôb pri prekračovaní ich spoločných hraníc. Tým sa mal stáť priestor voľného pohybu tovaru, osôb, služieb a kapitálu skutočnosťou. Spočiatku v tomto smere neexistovala medzi členskými štátmi jednota. V odstránení kontrol na hraniciach väčšina videla nebezpečenstvo prílevu nežiaducich prvkov na svoje územie.
V roku 1985 Francúzsko, Nemecko a štáty Beneluxu podpísali Schengenskú dohodu, ktorá predstavuje rozhodný krok k postupnému rušeniu kontrol na spoločných hraniciach zmluvných štátov, čím sa vytvorili podmienky na skutočné napĺňanie zmyslu myšlienky spoločného/vnútorného trhu. Ani spomínané štáty, ktoré pristúpili k podpísaniu Schengenskej dohody, nebrali možné hrozby na ľahkú váhu, čo kompenzovali posilnením spoločnej vonkajšej hranice, t. j. hranice oddeľujúcej oblasť vnútorného trhu od tretích štátov. Tento článok sa venuje iba jednému aspektu, a to voľnému pohybu osôb. V tejto súvislosti je nevyhnutné rozlíšiť vnútornú a vonkajšiu dimenziu voľného pohybu osôb. Prvá predstavuje voľný pohyb osôb v priestore vnútorného trhu, týka sa teda priamo občanov členských štátov EU, ktorí môžu využívať aj ďalšie spomínané slobody – voľný pohyb tovaru, služieb a kapitálu, čo zasa súvisí s voľným pohybom pracovníkov a slobodou podnikať. Tieto výhody môžu v niektorých presne vymedzených prípadoch požívať aj osoby, ktoré síce nie sú občanmi žiadneho z členských štátov Únie, ale spadajú napríklad do bližšie vymedzenej kategórie rodinných príslušníkov týchto občanov.
Vonkajšia dimenzia predstavuje situácie, keď osoby prekračujú vonkajšie hranice Únie. V tomto prípade ide nielen o občanov z členských krajín EÚ, ale aj o osoby, ktoré majú občianstvo iného ako členského štátu Únie. V závislosti od štátnej príslušnosti môžu podliehať i vízovej povinnosti. V takomto prípade môžeme sotva hovoriť o voľnom pohybe osôb, keďže sú zaťažené podmienkou, nesplnením ktorej nemôžu legálne vstúpiť na územie štátov EÚ.
Schengenská dohoda tvorí základný rámec stanovujúci krátkodobé a dlhodobé opatrenia, ktoré bolo nevyhnutné prijať. V tomto dokumente nájdeme aj definície hlavných bodov tejto iniciatívy. Dohoda bola v roku 1990 doplnená Schengenským vykonávacím dohovorom (Schengen Implementing Convention). Schengenská spolupráca pôvodne piatich a neskôr pätnástich štátov fungovala ako medzivládna spolupráca, t. j. podľa pravidiel medzinárodného práva. Z pätnástich štátov je trinásť členských štátov EÚ. Výnimkou sú Írsko a Spojene kráľovstvo Veľkej Británie a Severného Írska. Na druhej strane Nórsko a Island, ktoré nie sú členmi EÚ, sú členskými štátmi Schengenu. Od 50. rokov tvoria tieto dva štáty spolu s Dánskom, Fínskom a Švédskom pasovú úniu (Nordic Passport Union). V dôsledku pasovej únie sa upustilo od kontrol na ich spoločných hraniciach. Keď Schengenská dohoda vstúpila do platnosti, vznikla dosť konfliktná situácia, pretože kontroly sa museli vykonávať medzi členskými i nečlenskými štátmi Schengenskej dohody. Tejto kontroverzii sa predišlo podpísaním Dohody o pridružení medzi Radou EÚ a Islandom a Nórskom. V tom období existovala Schengenská spolupráca ešte mimo rámca Európskej únie.
1. novembra 1993 vstúpila do platnosti Zmluva o Európskej únii, známa ako Maastrichtská zmluva, ktorá zaviedla koncept troch pilierov. Predstavujú politiky v rámci EÚ. Prvý pilier EÚ tvoria tri pôvodné Spoločenstvá (EURATOM, ESUO a ES).
Dva nové piliere existujú mimo tradičnej štruktúry Európskych spoločenstiev a vo svojej podstate fungujú na medzivládnej úrovni. Druhy pilier predstavuje spoločnú zahraničnú a bezpečnostnú politiku, tretí spoluprácu v oblasti spravodlivosti a vnútra. Pravdepodobne citlivosť politík, ktoré spadajú do druhého a tretieho piliera, viedla členské štáty k spolupráci v týchto oblastiach. Súčasne sa však nechceli vzdať vlastnej kontroly pri rozhodovaní. Článok K1 vymenúval oblasti, ktoré členské štáty považujú za záležitosti spoločného záujmu. Sem spadali o. i. azylová, vízová a imigračná politika.
1. mája 1999 vstúpila do platnosti ďalšia podstatná novela pôvodných zmlúv v podobe Amsterdamskej zmluvy. Podstatnou zmenou v oblasti práva je presunutie časti obsahu tretieho piliera (spravodlivosť a vnútro) do prvého piliera. Tretí pilier po tejto zmene zastrešuje policajnú a súdnu spoluprácu v trestných veciach. Politiky súvisiace s pohybom osôb (vonkajšia dimenzia) tvoria teraz IV. hlavu Zmluvy o založení Európskeho spoločenstva. Tým sa priamo stavajú “komunitnými záležitosťami” a prestávajú mať medzivládny charakter, čo podstatne mení tiež postavenie európskych orgánov v tejto oblasti.
Ďalšou zmenou, ktorú nemožno opomenúť, je včlenenie Schengenského aquis do právneho rámca EÚ. Stalo sa tak na základe osobitného protokolu, ktorý je súčasťou Amsterdamskej zmluvy.
Amsterdamská zmluva obsahuje dve podstatne zmeny v oblasti, ktorej sa na tomto mieste venujeme:
V súčasnosti prebieha v členských štátoch EÚ proces ratifikácie Zmluvy z Nice, prijatej v decembri 2000 a podpísanej zástupcami členských štátov vo februári 2001. V oblastiach, ktorým sa venuje tento článok, nedošlo jej prijatím k zmenám v hmotnom práve. Navrhované zmeny súvisia s procesnou stránkou: aká väčšina sa bude pri hlasovaní o týchto otázkach vyžadovať v Rade EÚ. Úlohou Zmluvy z Nice je pripraviť orgány Únie na jej rozšírenie. Súvisí to aj so zmenami vo vážení hlasov v Rade, aby Únia bola funkčná po vstupe nových členských štátov.
Celá legislatíva Európskej únie bola rozdelená do 31 negociačných kapitol. Kapitola číslo 24 obsahuje acquis tykajúci sa spolupráce v oblasti spravodlivosti a vnútra. Vývoj v tejto oblasti možno sledovať napríklad porovnaním Pravidelných správ Európskej komisie, ktoré vydáva od roku 1998. Správy sú odrazom monitorovania pokroku, ktorý konkrétna krajina dosiahla od vydania poslednej Správy. Slovensko ako jedna z kandidátskych krajín na vstup do Únie takisto rokuje so zástupcami EÚ o jednotlivých oblastiach práva. Pokiaľ ide o Kapitolu 24, jej predbežné uzavretie predpokladá Európska komisia v júni 2002.
Prijať nové právne predpisy a harmonizovať tak existujúci právny poriadok s právnym poriadkom EÚ je len prvý krok, ktorý si nevyhnutne vyžaduje následné praktické uplatňovanie nových predpisov, čo je nepochybne neľahká úloha. Východná hranica Slovenskej republiky bude po vstupe do Európskej únie tvoriť časť vonkajšej hranice Únie. Preto je už teraz nevyhnutné jej technické i právne zabezpečenie, aby mohla náležite plniť svoju úlohu pri zabezpečovaní slobody, bezpečnosti a spravodlivosti.
The European Union is one of Europe’s most challenging projects. It is the result of a unique idea of deliberate integration, where each country’s membership depends solely on its own will. During more than four decades that have passed since the signing of the first treaties by the founding countries in 1951 and 1957 eleven countries have concluded negotiations on entry to the EU and of them nine have fully realised the treaty and acceded to the EU.
The series of enlargements began in 1973 with the accession of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark and continued with the accession of Greece (1981), Spain and Portugal (1986). When Austria, Finland and Sweden joined the EU in 1995 the number of members rose to the current 15. The process of enlargement will, however, dominate the European politics for at least another decade. At the moment there are 13 candidate countries, 12 of which are directly negotiating the membership conditions.
With regard to the relationship of the Slovak Republic with the EU, it should be mentioned that the Association Treaty with the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic was signed as early as 1991. A new Association treaty with the independent Slovak republic was signed in 1993 and came into effect in February 1995, after the completion of the ratification process. The treaty, often called simply the Europe agreement differs from the Association agreements EU concluded before, for example with Turkey or Malta. The Europe agreement with Slovakia represents a treaty of a third generation, due to the fact that it offers a possibility of future EU membership for Slovakia. Despite the fact that the EU-Slovakia relation has progressed significantly since 1993 the Europe agreement remains the only bilateral legally binding document. It shall be replaced by the Accession Treaty.
In general, the Europe agreements have created a basic framework for the co-operation between the EU and the candidate countries, however the path towards membership was defined by the European Council summits that further addressed the issue of enlargement and defined the guidelines that would lead the applicants to the full EU membership. In this respect the European summits in Copenhagen in 1993, Essen in 1994, Cannes and Madrid in 1995 can be regarded as historical breakthroughs as their conclusions set clear criteria for the EU membership and triggered off the negotiation process as we know it now.
The official application for the EU membership was submitted by the Slovak Republic to the EU at the European Council Summit in Cannes in June 1995. At this time the European Union was in the process of intense discussions concerning its future institutional reform. The result of these discussions was the Treaty of Amsterdam the signature of which was accompanied by the publication of a European Commission document called Agenda 2000. This document contained a detailed analysis of the requirements necessary for enlargement as well as of the impact of the possible enlargement on the current member states. Part of the document was also the progress reports on each individual candidate country. Reflecting on the criteria set forth at the Copenhagen summit the European Commission did not recommend Slovakia for the opening of negotiations due to the shortcomings in fulfilling the political criteria. Later on, in December 1997 the EU-15 taking into account the Commission evaluation decided at the European Council summit in Luxembourg that the accession negotiations would start with the six prepared candidate countries. Slovakia was not on the list.
After the parliamentary elections in 1998 the political atmosphere in Slovakia had changed and the EU and its institutions responded accordingly. The European Commission in its first Regular Report on the progress made in the accession process stated that the new situation that arose in Slovakia after the elections brings a new possibility of initiating the negotiations provided that the lawful, stable and democratic functioning of institutions is maintained. However the summit of the European Council in Vienna in 1998 did not come up with any significant decision regarding the process of enlargement.
This important decision was only made at the European Council summit in Helsinki in 1999 where the member states decided to open negotiations with the remaining six candidate countries including Slovakia. The principles of differentiation and the catching-up mechanism that the summit agreed on were very favourable for Slovakia because it entered the negotiation process with a two-year delay. These principles made it possible for Slovakia to make full use of its negotiating potential and of the experience gained by the first wave of applicants and allowed it to progress in negotiations in a dynamic way.
The negotiations take place in the framework of the Accession Conference. They are of bilateral character i.e. the particular candidate country and the member states take part in it. The objective is to fix the conditions under which each individual country will join the EU. It entails defining the areas where a candidate country will achieve compatibility upon accession or where the candidate country or the EU will benefit from transitional periods. The negotiations proceed in 31 negotiating chapters, out of which 29 represent the European legislation, containing a set of legislative, institutional or other measures that have to be adopted. (Chapter 30 comprises the institutional set-up of each and every member state in the EU system, chapter 31 is a. o. b.)
Pursuant to the Helsinki Council decision Slovakia opened negotiations at the first meeting of the Accession Conference in February 2000 where it laid down its basic negotiating position defining the procedural framework and the time horizon of negotiations. The main priority set was to finish harmonising the national legislature with the acquis and creating the administrative capacity by the end of 2002 with the date of reference of the accession being 1. January 2004.
As regards the transitional periods Slovakia declared its intention to confine its requirements to minimum. Transitional periods were only requested with a view to securing the growth of efficiency of the Slovak economy and alleviating the investment demands fraught with the implementation of the acquis. There are 6 chapters (Agriculture, Free movement of capital, Freedom to provide services, Taxation, Environment, Energy) where transitional periods were requested by Slovakia. All these 6 chapters contain legislative requirements with a strong economic and social impact inevitably resulting in the need to opt for transitional periods.
The first negotiating year Slovakia started in a dynamic way, it opened 16 chapters out of which 10 were provisionally closed. The real breakthrough was achieved under the Swedish presidency (first half of 2001) when Slovakia had opened all remaining legislative chapters and had provisionally closed 9 new chapters. With the total number of 19 closed chapters Slovakia clearly confirmed its negotiating potential and after 17 months since the start of the negotiations it managed to catch up with those candidate countries which had begun to negotiate with the EU two years earlier. The materialisation of the catch-up principle was officially confirmed by the Laeken summit in June 2002. The summit also named a group of 10 candidates including Slovakia which have the potential to conclude negotiations by the end of 2002. Slovakia ended the second negotiating year under the Belgium presidency with altogether 22 closed negotiating chapters.
Under the current Spanish presidency Slovakia has provisionally closed two more chapters, thus becoming, with the total number of 24 closed chapters, one of the most successful candidate countries. The main priority for the Spanish presidency is to close the left-over chapters from the previous presidency (Competition policy, Co-operation in the field of Justice and Home Affairs) as well as the chapter Institutions the provisions of which will secure proportional representation of Slovakia in the EU institutional system and the Regional policy chapter. The principal negotiations on the chapters with budgetary implications Agriculture and Budget, clearly representing the most sensitive part of the whole negotiations, will dominate the agenda in the second half of 2002.
Slovakia’s aim is to conclude negotiations in all chapters by the end of the Danish presidency. In order to realise this ambition Slovakia has to confirm its overall preparedness in terms of legislative alignment as well as the necessary administrative capacity. These two elements as well as the fulfilment of the Copenhagen criteria will be crucial for the final assessment of the candidates preparedness to be published by the European Commission in its Regular Report in October 2002. For Slovakia it is crucial to get a positive evaluation in order to be on the positive list of candidates so that the European Commission will recommend to finish negotiations with Slovakia by the end of 2002.
Provided the development in the coming months follows the expected scenario, the European Council Summit in Copenhagen is expected to invite new countries, hopefully including Slovakia, to become next EU members. The realisation of the so-called ”Copenhagen circle” – the road of candidates towards their membership will then be completed. The Accession treaty, scheduled to be signed in the first half of 2003 under the Greek Presidency, should be ratified by the Member States before the end of the same year so that Slovakia could take part in the election to the European Parliament as a member in 2004.
The beginning of the new millennium is a period in which the discussion about globalisation is focused to almost everybody. The world concept changed dramatically during the last years. The finalisation of the processes of change is not to be foreseen shortly and the ”Old Continent” is in the process of looking for his own identity. Are we proud to be Europeans? What is the relation to this question for the ”old-new future Europeans”, which will be the candidate countries. There are a lot of questions related to identity and especially oriented towards European identity.
Identity is a term which in different context is obtaining a different meaning. It is a term which is used not only in sociology, psychology, but also in politology, ethnography and other sciences. For psychologists identity is a category, which is giving us the information about the identification with ourselves and about a permanent attractiveness towards creation personal features, which are specific for a certain group. How the identity which should have a European dimension should be expressed? At first glance it is the European citizen, who is giving information about himself but about his surroundings. European identity is also connected with European awareness, which means the abolition of antagonism between national and European identities. Does exist something like this in the USA? Yes. The USA is characterised with the abstract ideals of freedom, equality and political affiliation and common responsibility for political history. The political culture in the US, which is a country of immigrants, has been never characterised with one cultural group in such way that others would be excluded.
It should be discussed what is common for Europe. The main characteristics of the European continent are his diversity. The French philosopher Edgar Morin is speaking about a certain ”unitas multiplex”. It is the specific ”European ghost” which is connecting the past, with the present and the future. Further it is a delimitation to ”our issues” and the ability to take over the responsibility for acts through authorisation and institutionalisation.
Common are also historical facts, which are linking all the political processes in Europe. Not to forget also cultural factors where Christianity was playing a role of a catalyst of cultural unity. As well as factors which are touching social and economical areas. Politics is a novum, which is giving us a new self-awareness.
We need to be aware that there is a plurality of identities. But it depends from the context which identity is prevailing. The concept of identity is a multiform and complex issue. The primary level is the need for belonging to a common legislative area. As well as some thoughts should be given to the process of creation of national identities, which have a certain emotional context. There are as well as regional identities which are a attribute of a certain region and they are not resulting from historical premises (as national identities). When we are talking about collective identity we need to talk about a ”supra-identity”, e.g. European identity. If something like this exist, then European identity should be multicultural. The more heterogenious the society is, the better is the centre ”dominating” common traditions, which are touching the concept of collective identity.
The present Europe is a result of a long historical process. That Europe will be a public and political area it is necessary to create a new model of collective identity. Europe of the future will not be a gigantic national state of a continental scale. Also the process of European integration will raise some questions related to identity. This process is changing the meaning, status and mutual relationship of personal, regional, national but also European social identities and their relation to civic practice and ideals.
From the above mentioned it is clear that it is not possible clearly identify European identity. Today the classical answer to the question what is European identity is: it is a unity in diversity. European identity will be probably a combination of all identities.
Citizens of a Hungarian nationality belong to the strongest defenders of integration. This contribution offers a detailed analysis of their standpoints and opinions on the EU and NATO accession.
The Forum Institute is dealing with sociological analyses since 1997. The specificity of our work is in comparison with other research institutions in the research object, that means the citizens of Hungarian nationality in the Slovak Republic. From the output of our research from June 2001, realized on a representative sample of 800 respondents it results, that 85 % out of them would support the EU accession of the Slovak Republic. Against the accession were 12 % of respondents. 12 % could not declare any opinion on the matter.
The support of integration is increasing with the growing level of respondent’s education; with the group of University graduated respondents it constitutes almost 97 %. The largest gapes among opinions we identified in the analysis according to the quantitative group of the township and reference to a region. The quota of the EU accession supporters was lowest within the inhabitants of the smallest villages (72 %), highest with the residents of medium-sized and big villages (88 %). The most significant differences are detected between the inhabitants of Western, Middle and Eastern part of the Slovak Republic. Mostly the Western Slovakia’s residents support the integration efforts of the Slovak Republic, (by 91 %), then the respondents from Eastern Slovakia by 82 % and the lowest support from all respondents was registered within the group of Middle Slovakia (63 %).
The majority of respondents expects from the EU accession of Slovakia stabilization and development of the Slovak economy, freedom of movement, new working opportunities at home and abroad. About a half of respondents expects the preservation of the minorities’ rights. The Hungarians believes, that their right would be kept much better in a EU integrated country then in a country that finds itself out of the community. 73 % citizens of Hungarian origin support the NATO membership. Half of the respondents claims, that such a step will guarantee a safe and peaceful life for the future to us.
Most of the studies in today’s media considering integration of Slovakia into the European Union evaluate the positive and negative sides of this integration for our country. However, the integration process could be examined also from the European Union members point of view. It is possible to examine the process from the positive or negative aspects arising form the Slovak integration for the EU member states. Therefore, the main objective of my short study is to identify the positive values resulting from the integration of Slovakia into the EU for the member states and Union as a whole. The arguments and ideas in this study could be used as the strengths and opportunities of Slovakia in the negotiation process with the European Commission. The study has been divided into two parts, foreign security and economy positive aspects.
Foreign security reasons for integration are based on the main idea of European integration presented in Europe from the beginning of this process after the end of the Second World War. The European Coal and Steel Community has been established in 1951 because of the need to prevent future war in Europe. The main idea was to control the production of steel and coal, which were the most important materials for the production of weapons, between Germany, France and other European countries. Therefore, the idea of present integration of Slovakia into the European Union represents the widening of European peace zone for all the member states. Widening of the peace zone is the reason we should not forget and concentrate our attention also during future European foreign and security discussions. The second security reason is the length and costs for the security of the EU border. Geo-strategic position of Slovakia enables to shorten the border of the EU and control only approximately 90 km distance with Ukraine. On the other hand, without Slovakia the EU border will be very long and therefore very hard to secure against present security threads such as illegal migration and international terrorism. The position of Slovakia in the middle of Central Europe opens ideal possibility for Slovakia to serve as an important state in the future enlargement of the EU to the east. The European Union without the eastern enlargement will not be completed and Slovakia should play important role in the further education process in the potential candidate countries.
The economic integration in Europe creates also the pressure on the political integration of the member states. This process is called a ”spill over effect”. The economical integration, which resulted into the European monetary Union with the common currency Euro influences the political decision making and other than economical policies of the Union. The economical reasons for the integration of Slovakia could be divided into the four freedoms of the Single market. One of the most important is the possibility of free movement of capital and opportunities to invest in Slovakia. Comparative advantages of Slovakia are seen especially in the field of cheap and educated labor in the field of technical manufacturing, which is clear after the comparison of investments into Slovak industry areas (25 % car manufacturing, 21 % technology production, 10 % services, 7 % steel manufacturing, 7 % machinery, 5 % wood manufacturing, 5 % food, 5 % energy, 5 % travel, 10 % other). The cost of labor in other fields (services, travel) is low, but the workforce is not educated well. Investments in the Slovak market should be positive also for the countries outside of the EU region, willing to reach the whole EU market with more than 500 million consumers. Companies from all the world could penetrate into the EU through Slovakia and build their stable position in this market. The free movement of goods and services will be widened with the Slovak consumer market, the producers of quality goods and services especially will sell their products in Slovakia without any barrier. The Slovak Republic is a rich country for strategically important resources, especially drinking and mineral water. Clean water is already missing in many countries of the world and represents a positive asset, which is important for all the EU member states and their environmental policies. The geographical position of Slovakia represents a reason for our integration in the field of economic issues too. Slovakia should serve as a transportation knot in the Central Europe with important high way routes from north-south and east-west. Further enlargement to the east is not possible without Slovakia, foreign investors should use Slovak Republic and experience in Slovak business environment as a base for their further investments into the Eastern Europe.
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