An interview with Miroslav Mizera, Munich Young Leader 2020, Slovak Republic
What are the most discussed issues in the campaigns for the upcoming parliamentary elections?
Caused by the unveiling of several corruption cases in Slovak politics, the most discussed issue in the campaigns is the fight against corruption and state of the rule of law in Slovakia. Furthermore, the Slovakian population calls for improvements in health care (especially the situation in hospitals), education (lack of educational material and teachers) and infrastructure (railways, highways and electronic services provided by the state). These concerns are addressed by most of political parties in their programs and campaigns.
What will the results mean for Slovakia in the European Union?
No party from neither the opposition nor the coalition doubts Slovakia´s membership in the EU, with the exception of the LSNS- Kotleba neonazi party. Attitudes to the EU from political parties vary from euro-sceptic to euro-optimist, but there are no "exiteers". The question is rather, who the Slovakian government’s representatives to the EU will be: What will be their diplomatic weight in order to foster Slovakia´s national interests in the EU and to develop EU as a whole.
There is an immense societal call for a change and even further integration within EU and NATO. All parties with coalition potential agree upon a pro-European course as it brings stability, security and prosperity to Slovakia. It is likely that the trend, seen in local, regional and presidential elections in last two years, that parties of the opposition and parties with pro-European course triumph will continue in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Do the murder of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak and the following protests over corruption still have an impact?
Further investigation of the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiance Martina Kusnirova in February 2018 disclosed connections of organised crime to the top echelons of the current Slovak government. Disclosed it in such concrete ways that even people who were ignorant before started to be more vigilant and vocal because they would not have imagined a murder of a fellow citizen (especially a journalist) in a democratic country of 21st century. The frustration and desolation was voiced in numerous demonstrations and on social media. The fact, that the second anniversary of the murders is just one week before the elections and that several commemorative events in many Slovakian cities are planned is likely to have an impact on the elections
Miroslav Mizera is former Special Adviser to the Deputy Minister of Defence and former Adviser to the Deputy Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic. In the past, he was Head of Secretariat for the Slovak EU Presidency at the Ministry of Defence. He worked as Editor-In-Chief of “EURO-ATLANTIC QUARTERLY”, as Vice-President of the International Youth Atlantic Treaty Association and as manager of various projects in the Slovak Atlantic Commission (now GLOBSEC). Miroslav Mizera is currently working as a Junior Consultant at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and participated in the Munich Young Leaders programme in 2020.