|Andrej Kiska (Independent, since 2014)
Peter Pellegrini (Smer-Social Democracy, March 2018)
|Size||49,035 km2 (18,932 sq miles)|
|MEPs||13 (Joined the EU in 2004)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
By March 2020
|Presidency of the Council||January – June 2030|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||None held to date|
|Brexit priorities||The UK has been an important ally for Slovakia in pushing against more powers being transferred to the EU and in defending Eastern boarders from Russian aggression.
It wants to have a unified European approach to Brexit and to make it look unattractive for other countries to leave as well.
One of Slovakia’s biggest priorities in the negotiations is to ensure the rights of its citizens residing in the UK. An estimated 75,000 Slovaks currently live in the UK.
|What Mr Pellegrini said on Brexit||Former PM Fico 18 September 2016
“What would you say if you were in their position? Even if it is the fifth-biggest economy in the world — I understand their financial importance — this will still be very painful for the UK,” “They are bluffing. If you were in their position you would say the same. ‘It will all be fine, it will be fantastic, you will see’.”
Former PM Fico 19 January 2017
“It would be very wrong to have the EU emerge from the talks weakened and Britain strengthened,” “That would be the worst example set for each and every single country for EU, where public pressure to leave the EU might be felt.”
5 October 2018
“We cannot accept that the United Kingdom would want to make only the freedom of the free movement of goods valid,” “We can respect either the full package or nothing.”
|Slovakia’s priorities||The Government coalition nearly collapsed after the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancee. Tens of thousands of people across Slovakia have been protesting against the Government, which was being investigated by Kuciak in relation to corruption allegations. People are demanding a fair investigation of Kuciak’s murder.
Prime Minister Fico resigned over the protests and put forward fellow Smer party member, Peter Pellegrini, to replace him. The Smer, together with the Slovak National Party and Most-Hid Hungarian minority party have a narrow 79-seat majority in Slovakia’s 150-member parliament.
This Government’s priorities are to relax budget cuts and increase transparency on public spending. It wants to mainly invest in health and education. The Government has also stepped up efforts to tackle corruption, though many are calling for more measures to be taken. Transparency International recently ranked Slovakia as the seventh most corrupt Member State.
Furthermore, the Slovak Government is heavily opposed to the EU’s refugee recolation system and has formed an alliance with other Central- and Eatern European countries (Visegrad group) to block this proposal.
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