Photo: flickr/dugspr — Home for Good
Photo: flickr/dugspr — Home for Good

Did you know that…

  • In January 2009 – a decade after US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called it "the black hole of Europe" – Slovakia became the first country of the former Soviet bloc to enter the euro zone?
  • Before the global economic crisis, Slovakia enjoyed growth rates of 8.5% in 2006 and 10.4% in 2007, the highest in the EU, earning it the nickname "Tatra Tiger"?
  • Separated by only 66 kilometers, Bratislava and Vienna are the closest capitals in the EU?


Official Name:

Slovak Republic


5,397,036, of which 80.7% Slovak, 8.5% Hungarian, 2.0% Roma, 0.6% Czechs and Ruthenians/Ukrainians, 7.0% not specified (Census 2011)

Capital city:

Bratislava (426,927 inhabitants, 2001 Census)


49,035 km2


Euro (as of 1 January 2009). The exchange rate with the Slovak crown had been fixed at Sk 30.126 = 1 euro


EUR 69,058.2 million (2011, Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic)

GDP per capita:

EUR 12,796


13.5 % (2011, Statistical Office)

Average monthly wage:

EUR 786 (2011, Statistical Office)



Short chronology of EU accession:

December 1991

Europe Agreement signed between EU and Czechoslovakia (an association agreement providing mainly for preferential trade measures)

1 January 1993

The split-up of Czechoslovakia, engineered by Slovak and Czech Prime Ministers Vladimír Mečiar and Vaclav Klaus

October 1993

The EU signs new, separate Europe agreements with Slovakia and the Czech Republic

27 June 1995

Vladimír Mečiar submits Slovakia's application for EU membership

July 1997

The European Commission recommends starting accession negotiations with Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Cyprus and Estonia but – owing to its democratic shortcomings – not with Slovakia

October 1999

The EC Progress Report notes substantial progress and recommends opening negotiations with Slovakia (together with Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania)

11 December1999

The EU decides to start negotiations with Slovakia along with Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania (Helsinki European Council)

15 February 2000

Start of accession negotiations

13 December 2002

Closure of negotiations (EU Summit at Copenhagen)

9 April 2003

European Parliament gives its assent to the Accession Treaty (521 votes in favor, 21 against, 25 abstentions)

16 April 2003

Signing of the Accession Treaty

16 – 17 May 2003

Slovak referendum on EU accession; 92.46% vote "yes"

1 May 2004

EU accession

21 December 2007

Accession to the Schengen area

1 January 2009

Accession to the Euro zone


Prime ministers during the accession process:

December 1994 – October 1998

Vladimír Mečiar (Movement for Democratic Slovakia – HZDS)

October 1998 – July 2006

Mikuláš Dzurinda (Slovak Christian and Democratic Union – SDKÚ)


Membership in other international organisations:


19 January 1993


1 January 1993

Council of Europe

30 June 1993


1 January 1995


December 2000


29 March 2004




Ivan Gašparovič (re-elected for second term in April 2009)

Prime minister

Robert Fico (Smer/Social Democracy), has won the elections on 10 March 2012 and was asked to form a government.

Political Parties

Former Prime Minister Iveta Radičová (SDKU-DS) lost a confidence vote on 11 October 2011 over the EU's new rescue fund EFSF. Fico's SMER was ready to step in and vote for the EFSF, but only on the condition that early elections would be called. Held on 10 March 2012, the following parties are now represented in the 150 seat unicameral parliament:


Smer/Social Democracy – 83 seats (populist-leftist, led by Robert Fico)


Christian Democratic Movement - 16 seats (Catholic conservative, led by Jan Figel)


Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) - 16 seats (new conservative party, splinter of SaS, led by Igor Matovič)


Most-Hid (bridge) - 13 seats (party promoting interethnic co-operation, led by Béla Bugár)


SDKU-DS – 11 seats (centre-right, led by Mikuláš Dzurinda)


SaS (Freedom and Solidarity) - 11 seats (liberal, led by Richard Sulík)


The ultra-nationalist Slovak National Party (SNS) led by Ján Slota, the People's Party/Movement for Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) of Vladimír Mečiar  and the ethnic Hungarian SMK/MKP did not reach the 5% threshold.

Last updated: 12 March 2012