University Library Bratislava. Photo: flickr/GflaiG
University Library Bratislava. Photo: flickr/GflaiG

This section offers 60 key texts and background documents on the EU accession process of Slovakia, covering key EU documents, books and articles. More general documents on the EU's enlargement process can be accessed here.

Slovak politics and EU accession

The following books, articles and laws all relate to different aspects of political live in Slovakia over the last 20 years, from the political deficiencies of the Meciar era and developments during the EU accession process to the return of populist politics after the 2006 parliamentary elections. Unfortunately, most of them are not available online.

  • Martin Butora, "Nightmares from the Past, Dreams of the Future", Journal of Democracy, 18/4, 2007, pp. 47-55.
  • Martin Butora and Zora Butorova, "Slovakia's Democratic Awakening", Journal of Democracy, 10/1, 1999, pp. 80-95.
  • Tim Haughton and Marek Rybar, "A Tool in the Toolbox: Assessing the Impact of EU Membership on Party Politics in Slovakia", Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, 25/4, pp. 540-63.
  • Mary Heimann, Czechoslovakia. The State that Failed, Yale Univ. Press, 2009.
  • Stanislav J. Kirschbaum, A History of Slovakia. The Struggle for Survival, Second Edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.
  • Kevin Deegan Krause, "Slovakia's Second Transition", Journal of Democracy, 14/2, 2003, pp. 65-79.
  • Ivan Krastev, "Between elite and people: Europe's black hole", Open Democracy, 3 August 2006.
  • Paul Lendvai, The Hungarians. A Thousand Years of Victory in Defeat, Princeton UP, 2003.
  • Geoffrey Pridham, "Status Quo Bias or Institutionalisation for Reversibility?: The EU's Political Conditionality, Post-Accession Tendencies and Democratic Consolidation in Slovakia", Europe-Asia Studies, 60/3, 2008, pp. 423-454.
  • Geoffrey Pridham, "The European Union's Democratic Conditionality and Domestic Politics in Slovakia: the Meciar and Dzurinda Governments Compared", Europe-Asia Studies, 54/2, 2002, pp. 203-227.
  • Martin M. Simecka, "The Fico Threat", Salon, 17 March 2009.
  • Milada Anna Vachudova, Europe Undivided. Democracy, Leverage, and Integration after Communism, Oxford Univ. Press, 2005.


Identity and the Hungarian minority

Here a selection of articles and books on the Hungarian minority in Slovakia, how it was affected through the EU accession process and what happened after accession. Further below you find English translations of the state language law, related implementation guidelines and comments by the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and the Venice Commission.

Books and academic articles

  • Jean-Bernard Adrey, "Minority Language Rights Before and After the 2004 EU Enlargement: The Copenhagen Criteria in the Baltics", Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 26/5, pp. 453-468.
  • Rainer Bauböck (ed), Dual Citizenship for Transborder Minorities? How to Respond to the Hungarian-Slovak Tit-for-tat? EUI Working Papers, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, European University Institute, 2010
  • Erika Harris, "Moving Politics Beyond the State: The Hungarian Minority in Slovakia", Perspectives, 28, 2007, pp. 43-62.
  • Carter Johnson, "The Use and Abuse of Minority Rights: Assessing past and Future EU Policies towards Accession Countries of Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe", International Journal on Minority and Group Rights, Vol. 13, 2006, pp. 27-51.
  • Zuzana Meszarosova-Lamplova, "Magyars and Slovaks in Southern Slovakia – Exercising Language Rights", Kalman Petőcz (ed.), National Populism and Slovak-Hungarian Relations in Slovakia, 2006-2009. Forum Minority Research Institute, 2009, pp. 167-179, 173.
  • Nadya Nedelsky, "Constitutional nationalism's implications for minority rights and democratization: the case of Slovakia", Ethnic and Racial Studies, 26/1, 2003, pp. 102-128.
  • Kerem Öktem, "Kurish in Turkey, Turkish in Bulgaria", FreeSpeechDebate, 17 February 2012.
  • Kalman Petocz (ed), National Populism and Slovak-Hungarian Relations in Slovakia 2006-2009, Forum Minority Research Institute, 2009.
  • Kalman Petocz, "National Populism and Electoral Behaviour" in Kalman Petocz (ed), National Populism and Slovak-Hungarian Relations in Slovakia 2006-2009, Forum Minority Research Institute, 2009, pp. 99-165.
  • Kirsten Shoraka, Human Rights and Minority Rights in the European Union, Routledge, 2010.
  • Kyriaki Topidi, "The Limits of EU Conditionality: Minority Rights in Slovakia", Journal on Ethnopolitics and Minority Issues in Europe, ECMI, 1/2003.
  • Stefan Wolff, "‘Bilateral' ethnopolitics after the Cold War: The Hungarian minority in Slovakia, 1989-1999", Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 2/2, 2001, pp. 159-195.

Key legislative texts and comments in English

General reading

The following selection of texts on Slovakia's EU accession process focuses on the crucial period of 1998 to 2002. Following years of rule by the controversial Meciar government, Slovakia was viewed as trailing behind the other candidate states. In an effort to catch up with the Central European frontrunners, it eventually managed to complete the EU accession negotiations in a remarkable 34 months.


Contractual Relations

The major agreements between Slovakia and the EU during the accession process:


Key European Council Conclusions

Three European Council decisions were crucial for Slovakia. The 1997 Luxembourg summit launched the accession process for all ten East European former communist countries. Due to its unsatisfactory democratic record, however, Slovakia was left out of the first group of candidates to begin accession talks. The EU eventually decided to launch accession negotiations with Slovakia – along with Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Romania – at the 1999 Helsinki European Council. The December 2002 Copenhagen summit confirmed the conclusion of negotiations with ten accession countries, including Slovakia.


EU monitoring reports

A selection of official reports on Slovakia prepared by DG Enlargement, including the 1997 opinion on Slovakia's application (which pointed to a number of problems in democratic governance) and all regular reports on Slovakia prepared by the European Commission:


Economic catch-up during accession process

This section includes various reports, studies and articles on Slovakia's successful economic reforms from the late 1990s until after accession.



  • Info-portal for Slovak citizens on wide variety of EU related topics (managed by the Slovak Government Office for EU Affairs)
  • The official portal of the Visegrad Group, with extensive information on business, culture and links to many institutions in each of the four countries.

13 March 2012