Playing Politics in Bratislava

An interview with Grigorij Mesežnikov

27 November 2018

Wojciech Przybylski

Editor-in-Chief

Miroslav Lajčák, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and a popular politician domestically, is facing possible resignation after losing support from the Slovak government on the UN Global Compact on Migration, which he worked closely in developing. V/I spoke with Grigorij Mesežnikov, a political analyst living in Bratislava about the unfolding events.

V/I: How would you explain the game of Slovak politics when it comes to the voting on the UN Compact on Migration?

Grigorij Mesežnikov

Grigorij Mesežnikov (GM): As it has ever been in Slovak politics, when it comes to any topics related to migration or refugees, most Slovak political parties are positioning  themselves as defenders of a unique national, cultural character of the country which is against any aliens. This is not only about the ruling party SMER-SD, or the nationalists and extremists, but also unfortunately even about the better part of the political spectrum which also present themselves as defenders of the “character of Slovakia” vis-a-vis foreign intruders.

When the Refugee Crisis was at its peak in Europe, Slovakia was avoided by migrants/refuges. Today, three years after the crisis, whenever this  topic arises among political parties in Slovakia, politicians are actively engaged in it as they see it as a possibility to gain some political capital.

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Wojciech Przybylski

Editor-in-Chief

Political analyst heading Visegrad Insight's policy foresight on European affairs. His expertise includes foreign policy and political culture. Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight and President of the Res Publica Foundation. Europe's Future Fellow at IWM - Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and Erste Foundation. Wojciech also co-authored a book 'Understanding Central Europe’, Routledge 2017. He has been published in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, Project Syndicate, VoxEurop, Hospodarske noviny, Internazionale, Zeit, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Onet, Gazeta Wyborcza and regularly appears in BBC, Al Jazeera Europe, Euronews, TRT World, TVN24, TOK FM, Swedish Radio and others.

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