Meeting of Czech and Slovak parliamentary assistants continues in 2024


The deepening of Czech-Slovak relations continued on Monday 25 March and Tuesday 26 March 2024 when the participants of the Academy for Assistants of Members of the Parliament went on a study visit to Bratislava. This was the second inter-parliamentary meeting of the parliamentary assistants of the Parliament of the Czech Republic and the National Council of the Slovak Republic, which gave the representatives of both countries the opportunity to further deepen Czech-Slovak relations and to follow up on the December meeting in Prague.

The first day began traditionally with a meeting with the assistants of the MPs of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, when František Mikloško, MP for the KDH and also the convener of the Candle demonstration, whose 36th anniversary Slovakia commemorated on the same day, also attended the meeting. The discussion in the Slovak Parliament focused not only on the current development of Czech-Slovak relations, but also on the state and mood of Slovak society and the future development of the V4. Assistants from both countries were also interested in the question of the importance of regional structures and municipal politics for political parties, or the differences between the parliamentary systems of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Given the current developments in Slovakia, the discussion also did not omit the importance of public media and the rule of law. 

The second part of the program on Monday was a meeting with reporter Tomáš Madleňák from the Ján Kuciak Investigative Centre, which was a continuation of the previous discussion on the current state of the media in Slovakia, the safety of journalists and the attacks on the (so far) independent RTVS (Radio and Television of Slovakia).

For the last meeting of the day, the Czech and Slovak assistants were joined by Hugo Gloss, COO of the DEKK Institute, and Michal Vašečka, sociologist and director of the Bratislava Policy Institute.The debate focused mainly on the current state of (dis)trust in Slovak society, which was based on a study of the [Anti]system in Slovakia presented by Hugo Gloss and a follow-up comparison of Czech and Slovak society conducted by Michal Vašečka for the audience.

The day concluded with a reunion of Slovak and Czech assistants who gathered together once again for a networking dinner. 

The second day began with a meeting with representatives of the President's Board of Advisors. The briefing with the experts focused on foreign and domestic policy issues, the competences of the Slovak President, but also continued the previous discussion on current Czech-Slovak relations.

In the second discussion on Tuesday, assistants from the Czech Republic and Slovakia met with experts David Púchovský, who’s behind the Hoaxy a podvody project, and Victor Breiner, Director of the Institute for Resilience Building, to discuss Slovakia's disinformation environment, examples of good practice in strategic communication, and the Russian Federation's hybrid presence in Slovakia. 

The final meeting was a discussion with Katarína Batková, Director of VIA IURIS, Zuzana Petková, Director of Zastavme korupciu, and her colleague Xénia Makarová. The debate focused not only on the activities of the two organizations, but also on Slovak corruption cases, the importance of civil society in Slovakia, and current legislative changes and their impact.

The study trip to Bratislava was prepared by the Centre for an Informed Society thanks to the support of the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation and in cooperation with the Institute for Education and Innovation in Politics.