Regions of Slovakia
Since 1949, Slovakia has been divided into a number of kraje. Their number and functions have been changed several times. There are eight regions of Slovakia and they correspond to the EU's NUTS 3 level of local administrative units; each kraj consists of okresy. There are 79 Districts. After a period without kraje and without any equivalent, the kraje were reintroduced in 1996; as for administrative division, Slovakia has been subdivided into 8 kraje since 24 July 1996: Since 2002, Slovakia is divided into 8 samosprávne kraje, which are called by the Constitution vyššie územné celky, abbr. VÚC; the territory and borders of the self-governing regions are identical with the territory and borders of the kraje. Therefore, the word "kraj" can be replaced by "VÚC" or "samosprávny kraj" in each case in the above list; the main difference is that organs of samosprávne kraje are self-governance, with an elected chairperson and assembly, while the organs of kraje are appointed by the government. The term "Region" should not be confused with: the general term "region" as it is used for example in the articles List of traditional regions of Slovakia or List of tourism regions of Slovakia the 4 "regions" that correspond to the NUTS 2 level, i.e. groups of several kraje, used by the Eurostat for statistical purposes.
These are: Bratislavský kraj SK 01 – comprises only this single kraj Západné Slovensko SK 02 = Trnavský kraj + Trenčiansky kraj + Nitriansky kraj Stredné Slovensko SK 03 = Žilinský kraj + Banskobystrický kraj Východné Slovensko SK 04 = Prešovský kraj + Košický kraj Historically, Slovakia was not divided into kraje, but into counties. This was the case when present-day Slovakia was part of: Great Moravia the Kingdom of Hungary Czechoslovakia the WWII Slovak Republic In 1928–1939 Slovakia as a whole formed the administrative unit "Slovak land" within Czechoslovakia. Bratislavský kraj Banskobystrický kraj Košický kraj Nitriansky kraj Prešovský kraj Žilinský kraj Each kraj was named after its principal city. Stredoslovenský kraj Východoslovenský kraj Západoslovenský kraj Bratislava Note: The kraje were abolished from July 1, 1969 to December 28, 1970 and reintroduced then. List of traditional regions of Slovakia List of tourism regions of Slovakia Districts of Slovakia Counties of Slovakia Flags of Slovak Regions ISO 3166-2:SK EU-maps Former names of all Slovakia´s towns and villages prior IWW Nature and lanscsape of Eastern Slovakia in photo
Hungarians in Slovakia
Hungarians are the largest ethnic minority in Slovakia. According to the 2011 Slovak census, 458,467 people declared themselves Hungarians, while 508,714 stated that Hungarian was their mother tongue. Hungarians in Slovakia are concentrated in the southern part of the country, near the border with Hungary, they form the majority in two districts: Dunajská Streda. After the defeat of the Central Powers on the Western Front in 1918, the Treaty of Trianon was signed between the winning Entente powers and Hungary in 1920, at the Paris Peace Conference; the treaty reduced the Kingdom of Hungary's borders, including ceding all of Upper Hungary, where Slovaks made up the dominant ethnicity, to Czechoslovakia. In consideration of the strategic and economic interests of their new ally Czechoslovakia, the victorious allies set the Czechoslovak–Hungarian border further south than the Slovak–Hungarian language border; the newly created state contained areas that were overwhelmingly ethnic Hungarian. According to the 1910 census conducted in Austria-Hungary, there were 884,309 ethnic Hungarians, constituting 30.2% of the population, in what is now Slovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine.
The Czechoslovak census of 1930 recorded 571,952 Hungarians. Czechoslovak and Hungarian censuses are used in political discussions, but they were not compliant and they did not measure the same data. According to the official Hungarian definition from 1900, a "mother tongue" was defined as a language "considered by a person as his own, the best spoken and preferred"; this definition did not match the real definition of mother tongue, introduced subjective factors dependent on environment and opened the way for various interpretations. Further, in the atmosphere of raising magyarization, a person could be at risk if he did not declare the Hungarian language to be his favorite for a census commissar. Between 1880 and 1910, the Hungarian population increased by 55.9%, while Slovak population increased by only 5.5% though Slovaks had a higher birth rate at the same time. The level of differences does not explain this process by emigration or by population moves and natural assimilation during industrialization.
In 16 northern counties, the Hungarian population rose by 427,238, while the majority Slovak population rose only by 95,603. The number of "Hungarians who can speak Slovak" unusually increased in a time when Hungarians had no motivation to learn it – by 103,445 in southern Slovakia in absolute numbers, by 100% in Pozsony, Komárom and Zemplén County and more than 3 times in Košice. After the creation of Czechoslovakia, people could declare their nationality more freely. Furthermore, censuses from the Kingdom of Hungary and Czechoslovakia differed in their view on the nationality of the Jewish population. Czechoslovakia allowed Jews to declare a separate Jewish nationality, while Jews were counted as Hungarians in the past. In 1921, 70,529 people declared Jewish nationality; the population of larger towns like Košice or Bratislava were bilingual or trilingual, some might declare the most-popular or the most-beneficial nationality at a particular time. According to the Czechoslovak censuses, 15–20% of the population in Košice was Hungarian, but during the parliamentary elections, the "ethnic" Hungarian parties received 35–45% of the total votes.
However, such comparisons are not reliable, because "ethnic" Hungarian parties did not present themselves to Slovak population as "ethnic", had Slovak subsidiaries. Hungarian state employees who refused to take an oath of allegiance had to decide between retirement and moving to Hungary; the same applied to Hungarians who did not receive Czechoslovak citizenship, who were forced to leave or did not self-identify with the new state. Two examples of people forced to leave were the families of Albert Szent-Györgyi; the numerous refugees necessitated the construction of new housing projects in Budapest, which gave shelter to refugees numbering at least in the tens of thousands. At the beginning of the school year 1918–19, Slovakia had 3,642 elementary schools. Only 141 schools taught in 186 in Slovak and Hungarian and 3,298 in Hungarian; this large deformation was a direct result of previous magyarization activities of the Hungarian government. After system reform, Czechoslovakia provided an educational network for the Hungarian minority, several times larger than the Kingdom of Hungary had for the whole Slovak nation before 1918.
Due to the lack of qualified personnel among Slovaks – a lack of schools above elementary level, banned grammar schools and no Slovak teacher institutes – Hungarian teachers were replaced in large numbers by Czechs. Some Hungarian teachers resolved their existential question by moving to Hungary. According to government regulation from 28 August 1919, Hungarian teachers were permitted to teach only if they took an oath of allegiance to Czechoslovakia. In the early years of Czechoslovakia, the Hungarian minority in Slovakia had a complete education network, except for canceled colleges; the Czechoslovak Ministry of Education derived its policy from international agreements signed after the end of World War I. In the area inhabited by the Hungarian minority, Czechoslovakia preserved untouched the network of Hungarian municipal or denominational schools. Howeve
Party of the Hungarian Community
The Party of the Hungarian Community known as Party of the Hungarian Coalition, is a political party in Slovakia for the ethnic Hungarian minority. It was led by Pál Csáky, until the parliamentary election of 12 June 2010 where it failed to acquire 5% of the popular vote, the threshold necessary for entering the National Council of the Slovak Republic, its votes went to Most-Hid, a new party led by former SMK leader Béla Bugár. In response, Csáky and the whole party leadership resigned; the party became a member of the European People's Party on 7 June 2000. The party was founded in 1998 in response to an anti-coalition law passed; the law prevented parties from forming electoral cartels at election time, which small parties had used to overcome the 5% electoral threshold. Three parties representing the Hungarian minority had formed such a cartel, called'Hungarian Coalition' in the 1994 election, had won 10.2% of the vote. To comply with the new law, the three parties – the Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement and the Hungarian Civic Party – merged to form the Party of the Hungarian Coalition.
Following the 2002 parliamentary election in Slovakia, the Party of the Hungarian Coalition joined the Slovak governing coalition for the second time, obtained 321,069 votes, was the most stable political party in the governing coalition. At the EU parliament election in 2004 the party won 13.24% of the vote. The party had 6 state secretaries in the Slovak government. Béla Bugár, the president of the Party of the Hungarian Coalition at that time, was the Vice President of the National Council of the Slovak Republic. In the parliamentary election of 17 June 2006, the party won 11.7% of the popular vote and 20 out of 150 seats, but lost its participation in the government. In the parliamentary election of 12 June 2010, the party missed the 5% border needed for participation in parliament by receiving 4.33% and lost its position in parliament. The SMK-MKP proved unable to obtain 5% of the votes in the 2012 parliamentary election. On 22 September 2012, the party was renamed to Party of the Hungarian Community.
In the 2014 European elections, SMK–MKP came in seventh place nationally, receiving 6.53% of the vote and electing 1 MEP. Although the Party of Hungarian Coalition maintains a narrowly neoliberal approach to policy, it claims as to represent the entire Hungarian minority community in Slovakia, with the objective of strengthening their legal status and ensuring them an equal position in the society; the party pays attention to the protection of rights of other minorities living in Slovakia. László Nagy, for example, MP and one-time Chairman of the Slovak parliament's Committee for Human Rights and the Position of Women, has advocated for a solution to the problems facing the Romani. Indicative of the party's approach, it supports political and civic equality for Romani, but advocates cuts in the social welfare to which Romani, like other citizens, are entitled; the primary party organisations make up the basis of the party. By the end of March 2003, the number of these local organisations was 521 and the number of members was 10,983.
The party congress is the highest body of the party. Between two congresses the highest body of the party is the National Council; each elected functionary and body gets elected in form of secret elections. The party leadership of the districts co-ordinates the work of local institutions within district. Between 1998 and 2007 the party chairman was Béla Bugár; the Chairman of the National Council was Zsolt Komlósy, the Parliamentary Group Leader was Gyula Bárdos and Executive Deputy Chairman was Miklós Duray. Pál Csáky was the chairman of the Minister’s Club. On 31 March 2007 Pál Csáky was elected for chairman by the assembly of party, thus succeeding the more moderate Béla Bugár. Béla Bugár established the party Most -- Híd on 30 June 2009, his new party wants to emphasise cooperation between Slovaks. Béla Bugár Pál Csáky József Berényi József Menyhárt Official site / /
Slovakia the Slovak Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to the west, the Czech Republic to the northwest. Slovakia's territory spans about 49,000 square kilometres and is mountainous; the population is over 5.4 million and consists of Slovaks. The capital and largest city is Bratislava, the second largest city is Košice; the official language is Slovak. The Slavs arrived in the territory of present-day Slovakia in the 6th centuries. In the 7th century, they played a significant role in the creation of Samo's Empire and in the 9th century established the Principality of Nitra, conquered by the Principality of Moravia to establish Great Moravia. In the 10th century, after the dissolution of Great Moravia, the territory was integrated into the Principality of Hungary, which would become the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000. In 1241 and 1242, much of the territory was destroyed by the Mongols during their invasion of Central and Eastern Europe.
The area was recovered thanks to Béla IV of Hungary who settled Germans which became an important ethnic group in the area in what are today parts of central and eastern Slovakia. After World War I and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Czechoslovak National Council established Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak Republic existed during World War II as a totalitarian, clero-fascist one-party client state of Nazi Germany. At the end of World War II, Czechoslovakia was re-established as an independent country. A coup in 1948 ushered in a totalitarian one-party state under the Communist regime during whose rule the country existed as a satellite of the Soviet Union. Attempts for liberalization of communism in Czechoslovakia culminated in the Prague Spring, crushed by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. In 1989, the Velvet Revolution ended the Communist rule in Czechoslovakia peacefully. Slovakia became an independent state on 1 January 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia, sometimes known as the Velvet Divorce.
Slovakia is a developed country, with a high-income advanced economy and a high Human Development Index, a high standard of living and performs favourably in measurements of civil liberties, press freedom, internet freedom, democratic governance and peacefulness. The country maintains a combination of market economy with a comprehensive social security system. Citizens of Slovakia are provided with universal health care, free education and one of the longest paid parental leave in the OECD; the country joined the European Union on 1 May 2004 and joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2009. Slovakia is a member of the Schengen Area, NATO, the United Nations, the OECD, the WTO, CERN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the Visegrád Group. Although regional income inequality is high, 90% of citizens own their homes. In 2018, Slovak citizens had visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 179 countries and territories, ranking the Slovak passport 10th in the world; as part of Eurozone, Slovak legal tender is the world's 2nd-most-traded currency.
Slovakia is the world's largest per-capita car producer with a total of 1,040,000 cars manufactured in the country in 2016 alone and the 7th largest car producer in the European Union. The car industry represents 43% of Slovakia's industrial output, a quarter of its exports; the first written mention of name Slovakia is in 1586. It derives from the Czech word Slováky; the native name Slovensko derives from an older name of Slovaks Sloven what may indicate its origin before the 15th century. The original meaning was geographic, since Slovakia was a part of the multiethnic Kingdom of Hungary and did not form a separate administrative unit in this period. Radiocarbon dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artefacts from Slovakia – found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom – at 270,000 BCE, in the Early Paleolithic era; these ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia. Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era come from the Prévôt cave in Bojnice and from other nearby sites.
The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium, discovered near Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia. Archaeologists have found prehistoric human skeletons in the region, as well as numerous objects and vestiges of the Gravettian culture, principally in the river valleys of Nitra, Ipeľ, Váh and as far as the city of Žilina, near the foot of the Vihorlat and Tribeč mountains, as well as in the Myjava Mountains; the most well-known finds include the oldest female statue made of mammoth-bone, the famous Venus of Moravany. The statue was found in the 1940s in Moravany nad Váhom near Piešťany. Numerous necklaces made of shells from Cypraca thermophile gastropods of the Tertiary period have come from the sites of Zákovská, Podkovice and Radošina; these findings provide the most ancient evidence of commercial exchanges carried out between the Mediterranean and central Europe. The Bronze Age in the geographical territory of modern-day Slovakia went through three stages of development, stretching from 2000 to 800 BCE.
Major cultural and political development can be attributed to the significant growth in production of copper in central Slovakia and northwe
People's Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
The People's Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia was a populist political party in Slovakia. The party was dissolved after it failed to secure any seats in the National Council in the 2012 elections, having lost them in the 2010 election; the party was in the government from 1992 to 1998, was the largest party from 1991 to 2006. Founded in 1991, its leader is Vladimír Mečiar, who, as Prime Minister, led Slovakia through the Velvet Divorce; the party has been a member of the Slovak government three times: twice as the leading partner with Mečiar as Prime Minister and from 2006 - 2010 as the junior partner under Robert Fico of Direction – Social Democracy. Founded in opposition to privatisation, the party's ideology has shifted with the only constants being Mečiar's leadership and a populism that alienated it from other parties in Slovakia and abroad. To overcome its previous reputation as a'pariah', the party has touted its support of European integration, it was a member of the integrationist European Democratic Party, despite not sharing the liberal ideology of that organisation.
The party was created as a Slovak nationalist faction of Public Against Violence, from which it seceded at an extraordinary VPN congress on 27 April 1991. Called'Movement for a Democratic Slovakia', it was led by Vladimír Mečiar, deposed as Slovak Prime Minister a month earlier, composed of the VPN's cabinet members; the HZDS claimed to represent Slovak national interest, demanded a more decentralised Czechoslovak confederation. On 7 May 1992, the HZDS voted for a declaration of independence, but this was defeated 73-57. At the first election in which it took part, on 5–6 June, the HZDS won an overwhelming victory, with 74 seats on the National Council: two short of an absolute majority. Mečiar was appointed Prime Minister on 24 June. Whereas the HZDS wanted a confederation, the Czech elections on the same day were won by Civic Democratic Party, which preferred a tighter federation. Recognising that these positions were irreconcilable, the National Council voted for Slovakia's Declaration of Independence by 113 votes to 24, Mečiar concluded formal negotiations over the dissolution of Czechoslovakia.
The party adopted a populist left-wing position economically, sought to slow the post-Soviet privatisation and liberalisation. In the first elections after independence, in late 1994, the HZDS retained its dominant position, winning 58 seats. Designating itself as a centre-left party, the party moved towards the mainstream right and, in March 2000, renamed itself the'People's Party – Movement for a Democratic Slovakia' to try to achieve membership of the European People's Party. However, lingering memories of former anti-Europeanism, conflicting rhetoric, the presence of three Slovak parties in the EPP prevented this; the ĽS-HZDS looked to the Euro-integrationist European Democratic Party, which it joined in 2009. The build-up to the 2002 election saw Mečiar exclude a number of prominent members from the party's list of candidates. Several of the excluded members, led by Ivan Gašparovič, split from the party and founded the titled Movement for Democracy; the new party won 3.3% of the vote, eating into the ĽS-HZDS's position, contributing to it winning only 36 seats.
By 2006, further divisions and splits had reduced it to only 21 MPs. In the parliamentary election of 17 June 2006, the party won 8.8% of the popular vote and 15 out of 150 seats. Two ĽS-HZDS ministers were sworn in with the Robert Fico government on July 4, 2006: Štefan Harabin. In the 2010 election the party lost all its seats, after its share of the vote halved to below the 5% threshold for entering parliament. Slovak politics Privatization in Tamara; the Encyclopaedia of Slovakia and the Slovaks: a concise encyclopaedia. Bratislava: Encyclopaedic Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences. ISBN 978-80-224-0925-4. Bartl, Július. Slovak History: Chronology & Lexicon. Chicago: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. ISBN 978-0-86516-444-4. Henderson, Karen. "The European Parliament election in Slovakia, 6 June 2009". European Parties Elections and Referendums Network. Szczerbiak, Aleks. Opposing Europe?: The Comparative Party Politics of Euroscepticism Volume 1: Case Studies and Country Surveys. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
P. 285. ISBN 978-0-19-925830-7. Official website
2016 Slovak parliamentary election
Parliamentary elections were held in Slovakia on 5 March 2016 to elect the 150 members of the National Council. The ruling left-wing populist Direction – Social Democracy party remained the strongest party, but lost its majority; the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party which led the government between 2000–06 and 2010–12 was defeated failing to cross the electoral threshold and losing its representation in the National Council. The centre-right Christian Democratic Movement failed to cross the threshold for the first time since 1990, whilst the far-right nationalist Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia entered parliament for the first time; the 150 members of the National Council were elected by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency with an electoral threshold of 5% for single parties, 7% for coalitions grouping at least two parties. The elections used the open list system, with seats allocated using the Hagenbach-Bischoff system. Voters were able to cast up to four preferential votes for candidates on the list of the party they voted for.
All participating parties had to register 90 days before election day and pay a deposit of €17,000, refunded to all parties gaining 2% or more of the vote. All Slovak citizens were allowed to vote except for convicted felons in prison, people declared ineligible to perform legal acts by court and citizens under 18 years of age. All citizens, who are 21 years of age or older and are permanent residents of Slovakia, were allowed to run as candidates except for prisoners, convicted felons and those declared ineligible to perform legal acts by court. Voters not present in their electoral district at the time of the elections were allowed to request a voting certificate, which allowed them to vote in any district regardless of their residency. Voters not in Slovakia on election day were allowed to request a postal vote. According to the Central Election Committee, approx. 20,000 Slovak citizens abroad have requested a postal vote - the deadline for requests passed on 15 January 2016. The election date was announced on 12 November 2015.
On 7 December 2015, the Ministry of Interior published a list of 23 parties that registered to take part in the elections. The backdrop of the campaign was centered on the European migrant crisis, with the governing SMER–SD taking an anti-migrant stance into the election. Teacher and nursing strikes occurring at the start of the year had a negative effect on public opinion. Eight parties passed the 5% threshold to win seats. Freedom and Solidarity became the second party with 21 seats and Ordinary People third with 19 seats. Both performed better than their predicted pre-election polls, by distancing themselves from the previous government; the Christian Democratic Movement performed poorly. They just failed to cross the 5 percent threshold required for parliamentary representation, for the first time since the establishment of an independent Slovakia in 1993; the far-right nationalist Slovak National Party and Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia parties entered parliament with 8.6 percent and 8.0 percent of the vote respectively.
According to an exit poll, dissatisfaction with corruption and social issues led many to vote for ĽSNS. Other parties who gained representation in parliament include Most–Híd, We Are Family, Network. Overall voter turnout was 59.8 percent. Twelve of the 150 MPs were elected due to preferential voting despite being placed further down their party list than the number of seats won by their party. On 7 March, President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska invited each elected party, with the exception of ĽSNS, for post-election talks. Fico was given the first opportunity by the President to form a stable coalition. All parties, except We Are Family, had refused to discuss the possibility of going into government with ĽSNS. An anti-fascist protest was held the same day in Bratislava against ĽSNS representation in parliament. On 17 March, incumbent Fico informed president Andrej Kiska that he would form a four-party government coalition, including Smer–SD, the Slovak National Party, Most–Híd and Network, which together held 85 of the 150 seats.
Slovak Election Data Project
Government of Slovakia
The Government of the Slovak Republic is the head of the executive branch of state in Slovakia. It is led by the Prime Minister of Slovakia, nominated by the President of Slovakia, is the leader of majority party or of majority coalition after an election to the National Council of the Slovak Republic; the Cabinet appointed by the president on recommendation of the prime minister must gain a vote of confidence in the National Council. As the chief formulator of the nation's public policy under the Slovak Constitution, the Government has the authority to make major policy on the matters of national economy and social security. Acting in the best interests of the nation, it is responsible for meeting the Government programme objectives within the scope of the adopted national budget; the main functions of the Government include making proposals on the state budget, preparing the annual closing balance sheet, issue government regulations and decrees under power given to it by law. One of the Government's duties is the management of the nation's foreign policy.
It submits draft Bills to the National Council, which are preceded by nationwide discussions and consultations with the relevant organizations. As established by law, the Government can discuss in its proceedings a confidence vote motion, cases of pardoning criminal offenders, appointment or removal from office of senior civil servants; the Cabinet is made up of the Prime Minister, presiding over it, his or her Deputies and Government Ministers. The Cabinet is appointed by the President of the Slovak Republic on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. For its policy and administration the members of the Cabinet are responsible to the National Council. Following the Resignation of Robert Fico, the current prime minister, Peter Pellegrini, has been serving with his government, the Pellegrini Cabinet, since 23 March 2016. Notes Smer–SD nominee Slovak National Party nominee Official site of the government