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From a Passive Policy Taker to a Revolting Member? The Slovak Case.

Darina Malová, Zsolt Gál

The paper will examine how Slovakia's position in the EU policy-making and agenda-setting process has been influenced by the multiple European economic and political crises. These crises not only tested the strength of European integration but also posed critical challenges to governance and the quality of democracy in Slovakia. We argue that the economic and political crisis in the EU has had a differentiated impact on Slovakia's economy, society and politics. On the one hand the subsequent 'crisis' governments easily accepted the EU's new economic governance regime due to the long term preference for fiscal discipline that has been supported by all political parties. In this respect since the membership Slovakia acted as a traditional passive policy taker, mainstream political parties believed this strategy helps to promote Slovakia into the EU core. On the other hand, the refugee crisis has triggered negative stances toward the EU refugee quota system and has been dramatically reinforcing populist and right-wing extremism. We explain this differentiated impact by looking at the dynamics of party politics that has been evolved around economic interest and identity politics.

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