Daniel Martinek über die politische Radikalisierung in der Slowakei für ORF und Kleine Zeitung

Im Nachgang des Attentats auf den Ministerpräsident der Slowakei Robert Fico, sprach Daniel Martínek mit dem ORF und der Kleinen Zeitung über die politische Radikalisierung und Frustration in der slowakischen Gesellschaft.

Die Artikel können sie bei orf.at und kleinezeitung.at lesen.

Darüber hinaus wurden Martineks Analysen in der gedruckten Ausgabe der Kleinen Zeitung veröffentlicht.

IDM Short Insights 34: Presidential Elections in Slovakia

On 6 April 2024, the second round of presidential elections took place in Slovakia. Peter Pellegrini, the leader of the government coalition party HLAS, defeated Ivan Korčok, the opposition candidate. On location in Bratislava, Daniel Martínek analyses the main reasons behind Pellegrini’s victory and what implications it will have for both domestic politics and Slovakia’s position on the international stage.


Daniel Martínek on the recent worrying developments in Slovakia

Daniel Martínek (IDM) analyses Slovakia’s recent democratic decline under the new government coalition led by SMER party. Robert Fico’s return marks systemic changes, including dismantling the Special Prosecutor’s Office and ideological battles eroding democratic institutions. With international isolation looming and media crackdowns, President Čaputová emerges as a democratic bulwark. The upcoming presidential election becomes pivotal, determining Slovakia’s democratic trajectory amidst Fico’s power grab. 

Read the article in German on DerStandard: Slowakei: Robert Ficos Comeback und der Niedergang der Demokratie 

Read the article in English on Eastblog: In the Shadows of Illiberalism: Slovakia’s Democratic Struggle under Fico’s Resurgence 

Der slowakische Ministerpräsident Robert Fico ist das jüngste Problem der EU

Daniel Martínek (IDM) erläutert für den Fair Observer die Hintergründe der aktuellen Proteste in der Slowakei und beschreibt die ersten Schritte der Regierung des alt-neuen Ministerpräsidenten Robert Fico. Kritiker argumentieren, dass die vorgeschlagenen Reformen darauf abzielen, die Macht der Smer-Partei zu festigen und Ficos Netzwerk zu schützen. Ficos nationalistische Agenda stößt auf Widerstand sowohl bei inländischen Protesten als auch bei der EU. Die bevorstehende Präsidentschaftswahl ist daher umso entscheidender für die demokratische Zukunft des Landes. 

Lesen Sie den Artikel hier. 

Dynamics of the Visegrad Group. Navigating Political Shifts, Challenges and Prospects for EU Enlargement

The upcoming European Council meeting on December 14–15 will see key decisions made on EU enlargement – will the Visegrad Group (Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia) stay (dis)united? Kinga Brudzinska explains what can be expected in her newest piece on the IDM blog. 

The political differences in the Visegrad Four (V4) countries that emerged as a result of the elections in Poland (15 October 2023) and Slovakia (30 September 2023) will not significantly impact the dynamics of cooperation among the group. The format remains in crisis due to Hungary’s pro-Russia foreign policy stance and its sceptical approach to the EU’s pro-Ukraine policy direction.

The upcoming European Council meeting on December 14–15, which will see key decisions made on EU enlargement, will once again highlight the lack of unity and cohesion among V4 group members, with Hungary being the outlier. As a result, the V4 will continue to serve as a platform for regional cooperation, but one should not expect a revival of coordinated foreign or European policy as seen in response to the 2015 migration crisis or the “Nutella crisis” in 2017 when the V4 mobilised to fight against the “double standards” of imported food sold in their countries.

What is more, in the long run, the ideological differences are not likely to divide the countries that created the V4, regardless of the political preference of ruling governments. For example, the International Visegrad Fund (IVF), co-managed by V4 countries and supporting regional cooperation projects in the region, or formats such as Think Visegrad—V4 Think Tank Platform, a hub of V4 joint analysis, remain an important aspect of cooperation. On the other hand, there is a threat that due to persisting political differences, the individual V4 countries will seek to engage in alternative formats of regional cooperation. For example, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will most likely invest in the development of the Slavkov Triangle or Central Five Initiative (C5), involving Austria. Poland will focus on rebuilding relations within the Weimar Triangle and will remain active within the Three Seas Initiative (3SI) until the end of President Andrzej Duda’s term in 2025.

What will change and what will not

Poland and the Czech Republic will not allow Hungary, and perhaps Slovakia, to appropriate the V4 as a Eurosceptic or even anti-Western platform. Furthermore, Slovakia will not replace Poland to the same extent as an important partner in activating the V4 format or advocating Slovakia’s own position on the international stage. After its initial declaration, Slovakia will most probably not stick to all its electoral promises related to withholding military aid to Ukraine or pursuing a more assertive European policy. This is because Slovakia does not have a tradition of conducting proactive foreign policy, so it is unlikely Bratislava would use its veto power in Brussels to back Hungary. As the V4’s only eurozone country, Slovakia traditionally advocates for a constructive European policy based on consensus. Robert Fico demonstrated such an approach during his previous term.

Polish-Hungarian relations will not improve, and Hungary will be isolated within the V4 over Russia. Prime Minister Orban deliberately plays the role of a disruptor in the EU and NATO decision-making process, openly challenging the model of liberal democracy and steering the country towards an authoritarian regime. On the other hand, soon-to-be new/old Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is known for his critical stance towards Viktor Orban. Bilateral disputes between Slovakia and Hungary (related to Orban’s controversial historical policies) further complicate the situation and isolate Hungary within the V4.

The V4 also faces an image problem in the EU, with a prevailing negative perception of its member countries. Therefore, Poland is not likely to heavily leverage the V4 in the coming years. In recent years, other formats such as the Bucharest Nine (B9), Three Seas Initiative (3SI), Slavkov Triangle, or Central Five Initiative (C5) have gained prominence, with V4 countries actively participating.

Finally, Poland is not necessarily seen by other Visegrad countries as a leader in the region. Poland’s reputation has also been damaged due to the deterioration of the rule of law (Slovakia, under the previous government, became more sceptical of Poland’s actions and pushed V4 activities aside) and the conflict with the Czech Republic over the Turow coal mine.

To sum up, looking back on 2023 and trying to foresee the developments on the international stage in 2024, we can be sure that the V4 will stay on the map of regional groupings in the EU in the years to come and will keep being used as a passive platform for regional cooperation. However, one should not expect a revival of coordinated foreign or European policy among the V4 unless Hungary adjusts its stance on Russia to align with the European mainstream.

Robert Fico Returns: Will Slovakia Become the New Hungary?

Left-wing populist Robert Fico, who was removed from power in Slovakia in 2018 after corruption scandals, has returned to power and formed a coalition with leftist and nationalist parties, which could have significant implications for Central Europe and the European Union.

Read the whole article by Daniel Martínek and Péter Techet here.

The Slovaks Opted for Stability and Peace – Will It Work?

For months, Slovaks have been worried about the chaos and confusion affecting their country. Three and a half years after the last parliamentary elections, Slovakia stands at a pivotal juncture in its political journey. 

To find out more about the political situation in Slovakia, continue reading Kinga Brudzińska’s article:

The Slovaks Opted for Stability and Peace – Will It Work?

En quête de stabilité et de paix : les Slovaques ont-ils fait le bon choix ?

Parliamentary Elections in Slovakia 2023

Read the briefing by Daniel Martínek here:

The whole discussion will be available on the YouTube channel of the IDM:


Wieder keine ungarische Partei im slowakischen Parlament?

Bei den Wahlen in der Slowakei Ende September hat keine der antretenden Parteien der ungarischen Minderheit eine Chance, in das Parlament einzuziehen. Warum wird die ungarische Minderheit keine Vertretung im neuen slowakischen Parlament haben?

Unser Kollege Péter Techet über die Nachbarländer Österreichs:



Daniel Martínek über die Wahlen in der Slowakei für den Eastblog und DerStandard

Im Nachbarland Österreichs finden im September Parlamentswahlen statt. Unser Kollege Daniel Martínek analysiert die Stimmung in der Slowakei und mögliche regionale Auswirkungen für den Eastblog der Forschungsgruppe Osteuropa am Institut für Politikwissenschaft der Universität Wien und DerStandard. 




Dieser Text wurde auch ins Englische übersetzt und ist hier abrufbar.