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Slovakia and the eu

History of Slovakia's EU membership

Slovakia has been a full member of the European Union for twelve years. Its integration into European structures was conditional on major political and economic reforms.

The process of building closer relations between the Slovak Republic and the European Union began in October 1993 when the Association Agreements were signed. In 1995, after the National Council of the Slovak Republic and parliaments of the EU member countries ratified the Association Agreement, the then Prime Minister, Vladimír Mečiar, submitted the application for EU membership. The following years were marked by concerns and objections from the European Commission. These mostly related to the instability of Slovak institutions and insufficient democracy.

However, the parliamentary elections held in 1998 marked a turning point. The EU welcomed the election results, and the first foreign visit of the new Prime Minister, Mikuláš Dzurinda, was to Brussels. During the negotiations with the European Commission, Slovakia was represented by the then State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ján Figeľ.

At the Helsinki summit in 1999, Slovakia was invited to accession negotiations, and European integration became a priority of the new Slovak government. The integration process was accompanied by a number of political and economic changes. Reforms focused on economic issues and on the stabilisation of democratic institutions. The Slovak Republic's negotiations on EU accession were concluded at the Copenhagen summit in 2002, which set the final date for Slovakia and nine other countries to join the EU.

In April 2003, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs approved the accession of ten countries, including Slovakia, to the European Union in 2004. Ten candidate countries formally signed the Treaty of Accession to the EU on 16 April 2003 in Athens. The Slovak Republic was represented by the President, Rudolf Schuster, and the Prime Minister, Mikuláš Dzurinda, who signed the Treaty. The Slovak Republic joined the European Union on 1 May 2004.

Slovakia's effort to become a member of the Schengen area was accomplished on 21 December 2007 when controls on the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Hungary were abolished. In preparation for this step, Slovakia faced the considerable challenge of securing the border with Ukraine, which became the eastern border of the whole European Community following the entry of Slovakia and other countries to the Schengen area in 2007.

In 2009, the Slovak Republic adopted the euro and became the sixteenth Member State in the euro area. Before the adoption of the common currency, it was especially important to meet the so-called Maastricht criteria.

From 1 July 2016 to 31 December 2016 Slovakia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time in the country's history.

Latest news

9 December 2016
Safer borders and Eurodac among great results under Slovak Presidency
Brussels (9 December) – The reform of the Common European Asylum System, migration as well as fight against terrorism and organised crime were among key topics discussed by the last Home Affairs Council under the Slovak presidency. The meeting was chaired by Deputy Prime Minister and Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák.
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9 December 2016
Common European Asylum System reform: Council ready to start negotiations on Eurodac
Brussels (9 December) - The Council endorsed a mandate for negotiations with the European Parliament on the recast of the Eurodac regulation. On the basis of this mandate, the presidency will start negotiations with the European Parliament as soon as the latter has adopted its position.
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9 December 2016
Intergovernmental agreements in the field of energy: Council strengthens EU energy security
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9 December 2016
Shareholders' rights in EU companies: Presidency strikes deal with Parliament
On 9 December 2016, the EU's committee of permanent representatives (COREPER) endorsed an agreement between the Slovak presidency and European Parliament representatives to strengthen shareholders engagement in big European companies.
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25 November 2016
Violence against women - simply unacceptable!
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights in the world and one of the least prosecuted crimes in the world.
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9 November 2016
Statement by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic on the adoption of the 2016 Enlargement Package
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic welcomes the adoption of the European Commission’s 2016 Enlargement Package, which contains assessment reports concerning the individual candidate countries and potential candidates for EU membership. We recognise the fact that this year’s package is centred around an assessment of the implementation of last year’s strategy, while also taking stock of trends in the region in key areas such as the rule of law, fundamental rights, migration, the functioning of public authorities, economy and regional cooperation. The reporting methodology introduced last year was expanded to cover additional areas. This has facilitated a better assessment of the overall progress made over the past year, as well as mutual comparisons between the individual applicants.
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23 August 2016
Joint Statement: Ministerial Conference on the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes
(Bratislava, 23 August 2016)
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12 July 2016
Speech by Foreign Minister M. Lajčák at the EP Committee AFET
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7 October 2016
2 climate weeks: „small step for humanity, giant leap for Slovak Presidency“
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9 December 2016
Notice: Minister M. Lajčák to attend the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels
The Slovak Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Miroslav Lajčák is to attend a regular Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting in Brussels on Monday 12 November. The Council is chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.
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9 December 2016
Notice: AGRIFISH Council on unfair practices, organics and fishing opportunities
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7 December 2016
Notice: Migration, asylum and border modernisation on interior ministers' agenda chaired by R. Kaliňák
On Friday 9 December, Deputy Prime Minister and Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák will chair the Home Affairs Council (JHA) in Brussels.
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7 December 2016
Notice: Fight against fraud high on agenda of JHA chaired by Minister Žitňanská
On Thursday 8 December, Slovak Minister for Justice Lucia Žitňanská will chair the Justice Council (JHA) in Brussels.
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23 June 2016
Presidency glossary
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23 June 2016
Slovak Presidency Website eu2016.sk
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22 June 2016
Accreditation and registration
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5 May 2016
Presidency in Figures
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19 July 2016
Council conclusions on Venezuela
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19 July 2016
Council conclusions on EU strategy on China
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19 July 2016
Council conclusions on Turkey
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19 July 2016
EU priorities at the United Nations and the 71st UNGA
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