Which is the best option for travellers – Czech Republic or Slovakia?
Czech-Slovak relations are foreign relations between the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Contents. 1 History; 2 Resident diplomatic missions; 3 See also. A citizen of the Czech Republic may enter into marriage with a foreign national in Home Page / Useful Information / Miscellaneous citizen advice . Republic on the Agreement between the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on the. A look at the Czech and Slovak Republics twenty years after the Velvet The strength of the relationship has been reiterated by everyone I.
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Part 2 is completed only by the relevant registrar. Fees Entering into marriage between two persons none of whom has permanent residence in the Czech Republic - CZK 3, The turn of also pushed to the surface other profound contradictions: As regards attempts at modernization, the — period of the Soviet-type Czechoslovak federation caused the Czech part to gradually fall behind, and the Slovak part to take strides forward, the two parts of the country being almost levelled out in economic and social welfare terms.
True, in the meantime the country as a whole lost its leading place in the economy of East-Central Europe. Although the political actors of the split made rare mention of it, the international context of the East-Central European turn in had a significant role in the whole process.
The power vacuum created by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from the region indisputably promoted the assertion of particular national interests. In a positive formulation that meant that the heterogenous, multi-nationality states created in would adjust to the European practice of nation-states, an especially important step on the way to European integration.
In this process every nation wishes to be involved on an equal basis, and this opportunity was not equally given to all the nations living in the territories of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.
Certainly the rapid split was also largely precipitated by the fact that, similarly to the other new democracies in East-Central Europe, the Czechoslovak political stratum also tended to grow infantile, to manage the conflict in extremist manners, to present histerical and theatrical solutions. The precondition, of course, would have been the definition of a political framework for the federation which could be approved by both nations. Since, however, the leading apparatus of the Czechoslovak velvet revolution had no such positive program, they failed to create consensus in the rapidly differentiating Czech and Slovak social and political life within the available three years.
In the final analysis, therefore, it seems justified to assume that the immediate cause for the split was the assertion of the interests of those groups who expected the separate national states, and not a single joint state, to promote the weight of their respective groups.
It is, of course, extremely difficult to identify these groups since informal nation-oriented groups were present not only in the political parties in nearly every Czech and Slovak party fractions or occasional groups committed to the nation-state ideal emergedbut also in nearly every field of public life.
As a typical example, one could refer to the association of Slovak soldiers within the Czechoslovak army, whose radical program of independence was able to generate an atmosphere of political panic. It remains a fact, however, that before the parliamentary elections a single political party — the Slovak National Party — was only expressly committed to the split.
Which is the best option for travellers – Czech Republic or Slovakia?
It is, however, also certain that the activity of nation-oriented radical groups would not have been sufficient to effect a split. The political forces that won the elections decided to settle the disputes by splitting up the country instead of protracted and aborted federative bargaining exactly because they wished to avoid the possibility of an armed conflict similar to the Yugoslav situation.
Experiences of the post-split situation It must be attributed to the different causes of forming the two independent states that in the past two years several conflict situations have emerged that have roots in the deficiencies of the split.
They include the very short-lived monetary union, the symbolic wrangling on border modifications of a technical nature, the balance of the monetary union first being positive on the Czech, more recently on the Slovak side, the unilateral Slovak customs-technical regulations, the contradictions rooted in former joint privatizations, and the unconcealed political pressure of the admittedly stronger Czech party in this area, etc.
All this notwithstanding, the relationship between the two states is sound. Despite frequent separate steps in international politics by the Czech Republic, the two diplomacies closely collaborate in the European and regional agencies, e.
Sticking to the Czech Republic, Slovakia tries to keep pace in international politics, which it managed to do, e. This is seemingly contradicted by the fact that apart from Hungary, Slovakia has the most of its conflicts with the Czech state. Besides, Czech egoism which also had a major say in the split, coupled with a sort of Czech messianism, tries to rend Slovakia off itself to be able to proceed along its separate course more easily. The prognoses at the time of the Czech-Slovak split of the collapse of Slovak economy in the near future have not been validated.
This is due to several factors.
Czech-German Relations in the European Context - The New Federalist
The Slovak state fund created by distributing the resources of the Czechoslovak federation was a considerable financial asset and the restrictive financial policy continued after the split has tried to manage the resources economically and efficiently.
A major political and expert help was given Slovakia by the International Monetary Fund which Slovakia sought out back in the autumn of and, realizing its extraordinary significance, it tries to remain in contact with the top brass of IFM at the highest levels.
They also take on the risk inherent in the discontent of the strata of employees and others hit by wage cutbacks. On the other side, they insist on elaborating and trying out their own variant of the economic transformation different and socially more sensitive than the Czech model.
The agreement on the customs union concluded by the Czech and Slovak governments on 22 October was essentially to provide for the free flow of goods and labour between the two countries.
In short, they have to count on changes in the demand for the two countries. Many already opine that the Czech demand for the relatively cheeper Slovak commodities, and the gradual squeezing of more expensive Czech products from Slovakia will endanger the existence of the customs union in the long run, especially if it is coupled with the utterly different phasing and philosophy of the economic transformation in the two countries.
This is certainly not in the interest of either state, especially not of Slovakia, for the loss of the Czech markets, the lack of advantages offered by the customs union would be a heavy blow on both the Czech and the Slovak economy. One of the key problems in the entire East-Central European region is that the political status of the ethnic and national minorities, their individual and collective rights are unclarified and that the accumulated minority discontent is stretching the conceptions and political frames of the nation-states.
Thus, from among all the East-Central European states, Slovakia has the highest rate of minority population. The Roma minority also causes serious concern in the Czech republic who encounter a very fierce anti-Roma atmosphere especially along the border. Some estimates put the number of Roma citizens of Slovakia who applied for Czech citizenship after the split at around 2—, The applications are turned down by the Czech authorities for want of the required length of stay in the country or for a police record.
In its efforts to solve its problems, Slovakia is increasingly pressed to observe the rules of the game as it is played in Europe, to take into account the real power relations in Europe and Central Europe. The overriding paradox of Slovak politics is that the most effective help with its attempts at modernization would come from the very countries Czech republic, Austria, Hungary towards which Slovakia administers some caution for various reasons.
The spectre of falling behind the Visegrad group, the set of criteria that prevails in the rivalry for joining the West European integrations have so far kept Slovakia back from its natural allies detectable in spheres in opposition to the trends of modernization: The question of how the Czech republic, and even more emphatically Slovakia will find its place in Europe basically depends on the success or not quite unlikely the failure of economic transformation in the region, as well as on the global consequences of the European intergrative process.
At present, the domestic political peculiarities of the two new states do no constitute more than usual risk factors in this respect. At the same time, the responsibility of Hungary and the Czech republic for the behaviour of Slovakia is far greater than the rest of the European states, for via the thorough deliberation of moves and the right sequence of these steps they can considerably influence the regional politics of the Slovak government.
The foreign political doctrine of the Czech Republic, as one can judge on the basis of statements so far, is founded on the unconditional priority of drawing close to West Europe. As prime minister Vaclav Klaus and Czech foreign minister Jozef Zielenec put it at the beginning, the Czech republic wished to return to the traditional geopolitical space which had determined its development for centuries.
Naturally, the mention of the geopolitical sphere predominated by Germans did not sound pleasant to many Czech ears, but after all it seemed acceptable as a synonym to joining the process of European integration. The fact, however, that the process of European integration begins — for the Czecks — with coming to grips with the Czech-German neighbourhood issue gives far more headache to Czech politicians.
Accordingly, only Slovakia and Austria of the Danubian region are considered as priorities of Czech foreign policy.
Czech-German Relations in the European Context
True, concerning Slovakia the idea of a sure economic hinterland is at the back, together with the cultivation of other joint interests developed over the seven decades of marriage. Conclusions In my paper I made an attempt at analyzing the split of the common state of the Czechs and Slovaks, the Czechoslovak Republic, in I placed in the focus of inquiry the question as to how and why sharp conflicts could be avoided in the course of separation.
The main factors of preventive conflict management could be summarizedin five points: National history and national ideology did not play a great role in generating conflicts. The dominant ideology of the common state, Czechoslovakism which articulated Czech predominance caused relatively little demage to the relationship between the two nations. In this sense, the split of the Czechoslovak state was not a negation or liqudation but the radical realization of national emancipation.
Many Czechs and Slovaks regard the split as the logical conseqence of the history of both nations in 20th century. The post— economic reforms, however, made it clear that the conditions were differenct int the Czech and Slovak REpuublics. This endowed the reform, the transformation, the privatization with ethnic dimensions.
The split also liberrated, emancipated the two national economic strategies. However, they did not consider the claim to Slovak national and political sovereignty within the common state to be a realistic political alternative. They rejected the option of a Czech—Slovak confederation. This was the point of sharpest antagonism that required the split as a solution.
The Czechs won the possibility of unhidered economic development, the Slovaks earned political indepedence with the split. The political representation and the majority of the public opinion were with preventive conflict management equally satisfied. That is why they did not allow for potential ethnic conflicts to develop. That is why they jointly rejected the call of a referendum to decided on the split.
Certainly the common Czechoslovak state had been ripe for a political reform.
The Soviet type federation, in fact a pseudofederation, failed. The majority of Czechs and Slovaks, however, would have liked the common state to survive even when the split was being effected. Owing to the peculiar power relations of the Czech and Slovak political parties, this sociological fact did not get articulated et the level of political decision—making.
Thus the separation of Czechs and Slovaks is a major examle of preventive conflict management, which, however, liquidated some possible constructive alternatives as well.
Notes 1 Kalvoda, Josef: National Conflict in Czechoslovakia. The Making and Remaking of a State, — Princeton University Press History of modern Slovakia, New York Czech and Slovak nationality.
Essay on World War I: The Making of Czechoslovakia. The Shaping of a National Identity: Andrej Hlinka, Bratislava Father Hlinka s struggle for Slovak freedom, London La Slovaquie dan se drame de l Europe. Histoiere politique de a Paris Dokumente zur Autonomiepolitik der Slowakischen Volkspartei Hlinkas. Slovensko v rokoch druhej svetovej vojny, in: Slovensko v rokoch druhej svetovej vojny.
Po druhej svetovej vojn e, in: Slovak Academic Press Bratislava The Czechoslovak Refor m Movement. Policymakers in Central Eastern European states are well aware of that fact. But, undeniably, it is difficult to sell such a concept in elections. Again, the Czech Republic, as well as its Slovak neighbours, is determined to play in the first league and not to be displaced onto the hindmost ranks. This is, of course, because both countries risk being left behind if they do not manage to be a part of the European forefront.
However, the Czech government has been very reluctant to launch the process of monetary reform so far. This may be the reason why Prime Minister Sobotka was more cautious than his Slovak counterpart in opposing a Europe of different speeds. The outlined complex of problems leads us to a second — minor, but nonetheless important — dilemma: While the group was initially constituted by Poland, Hungary and then still Czechoslovakia to support each other on their way into the European Community and NATO, it nowadays sometimes seems that the objectives have been, if not reversed, at least led to another direction.
That this development may weigh on Czech-German relations is evident and has also been put forward by journalists at the Berlin press conference. Recent meetings of the V4-countries have shown that consensus between the Czech and Slovak Republics on one side and Poland and Hungary — with ever more authoritative tendencies — on the other side can only be reached on the migration issue.
The third dilemma regards Czech-German relations directly and has more to do with feelings, mentalities and impressions than with facts and strategical questions.
The relationship between the two countries is quite ambivalent in the sense that Germany is very often seen as an example to follow. In some cases, for instance in the region of the capital Praguethis pursuit has already been widely successful.
These feelings suggest that a rapprochement towards very intense links and exchanges is inevitable and German advice very welcome. One can even hear the Czech Republic being described as the seventeenth German Bundesland from an economic point of view.
This designation is not only meant in an affirmative way and Germany is often perceived to be too dominant — in Europe as well as towards the Czech Republic. The initially mentioned fears of Germanisation reappear. Angela Merkel, with whom the Prime Ministers met in Berlin and to whom they expressed appreciation and consent on almost all issues, is too often perceived as the real and only leader in the EU.