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Le journal pour les jeunes, par les  jeunes

Corruption in Slovakia: a future decline of Slovak society?

Picture of Julie Held

Julie Held

On February 8, 2024, an amendment to the penal code for the abolition of the special prosecutor's office was passed. Keystone of the fight against corruption in Slovakia, this vote worries more than one. What about the economic and political future of Slovakia ?

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For many years, several journalists and others have been victims of corruption while trying to fight against it. This increasingly affects Slovak society and has participated in the construction of a more institutionalised struggle – the birth, in 2021, of the special prosecutor’s office. Indeed, according to the ranking of the NGO Transparency International carried out in 2023, Slovakia had reached its best score in eleven years, ranking 47th out of the 180 countries evaluated. Indeed, this ranking demonstrates a real desire to fight against this type of fraud.

But this unfortunately stems from several deaths, notably that of journalist Jan Kusiak and his wife, in 2018. The journalist was investigating cases of tax fraud and the link with the mafia of a personality close to R.Fico, current prime minister of the Slovak government. The correlation between his investigation and his assassination would not be difficult to prove. This assassination as well as the previous ones led to various anti-corruption demonstrations by the Slovak people and even more so when R.Fico expressed the desire to abolish the special prosecutor’s office, demonstrating a genuine social desire for stability, trust and honesty regarding state institutions.

Furthermore, at the European level, we have been able to see that following these events mentioned above, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the rule of law and the fight against corruption within the EU, in particular in Malta and Slovakia; which also demonstrates the position of the European Union regarding corruption within its member states.

The main reason for the persistence of the current Prime Minister is to “protect” his relatives from Justice by reducing sanctions for corruption as well as by abolishing the institution which carried out investigations affecting a good number of them.

Furthermore, one could wonder if this is not a way for him to show his differences of ideas with those of the European Union, in particular with its migration policy and its tolerance towards the LGBTQIA+ community as Viktor Orban does. by opposing, through voting, sometimes major European decisions; as well as its desire to preserve the national sovereignty of Slovakia towards the European Union in many areas.

Moreover, being a member of a pro-Russian party, one could also wonder if R.Fico did not suppress the key institution in terms of the fight against corruption, with the aim of destabilizing democracy and Slovak society leading to multiple, sometimes worrying consequences for the EU; which would allow Russia to interfere in Slovakia and fragment European countries, possibly leading, in the worst case, to the invasion of European countries such as Poland.

Finally, the consequences of such a suppression could be political instability and the loss of confidence of the Slovak population in state institutions as well as a setback in terms of development of Slovakia. Indeed, as we can observe in different Latin American countries, corruption often leads to the impoverishment of the civilian population, an increase in delinquency, a lack of concrete state actions but also a social and political anarchy due to lack of confidence in political figures.

Concerning the European Union, Slovakia risks receiving some sanctions, particularly economic ones, for not respecting European policy and law, like Hungary or Poland in relation to the right to abortion. This could either lead to some conflicts within the EU without real consequences if the rise in corruption is only a political phase linked to R.Fico or it could lead to a persistence of conflicts and, in an extreme case, a Slovak desire to leave the European Union.

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