This title of this article might ruffle the feathers of all those who think emerging comparisons between Brussels and Moscow are somewhat “crossing the line”. Buckle up, as the following paragraphs will show you why such collations are by no means an exaggeration.
Marx is on a victory march. Even in Slovakia. And despite the local uproar caused by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker´s recent visit to Marx´s childhood nest to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the philosopher´s birth by celebrating his intellectual heritage.
Since the great expansion of the EU in 2004, we are constantly hearing concerns about so-called social dumping from hard-core, traditional EU members. What at first seems to be an action against imminent threats to social standards in Western Europe is in fact a sophisticated instrument to eliminate competition from new EU members.
Two interesting debates are being led simultaneously in Slovakia. One on subsidies to support the mining of lignite in the upper Nitra region and the other on the unconditional basic income for all. The interconnection between the two could bring so many positive effects that I am left to wonder why nobody has thought of this so far.
Let´s be honest with ourselves: the Slovak economy and the economies of other countries on the brink of the potential core have fundamentally different parameters. What we share is the euro and our desire to belong to the core. However, this is not enough.
Paradoxically, the EU is being buried by those who praise it the most. They demand equal conditions on the internal market and despite the fact that it might seem a legitimate claim, they are, in fact, attacking one of the two pillars (peace and economy) of the European project.
Why do conditions for doing business and entrepreneurship keep deteriorating when politicians are trying to convince us on a daily basis that they want to improve them instead? No deeds follow their words. Although the government pretends to listen to our concerns, they do not usually take them into account.
One of the crucial problems in Slovakia – and elsewhere – is an educational system failing to adapt to the challenges of modern society. There is one ultimate reason behind it: the prevailing central planning approach has resulted in rigidity, bureaucracy, and purely formalistic requirements disconnected from the real world.
Our Athena++ reform plan was made available to the wider public at the beginning of February 2017, aiming to spark further debate. In the upcoming months, we will be presenting our ideas to government representatives, MPs, political parties, professional associations and the media in Slovakia.
The education system in Slovakia stands before a challenge: the last significant changes were implemented in the 19th century, yet the system is supposed to meet the standards of the 21st century. Thus the education system has to go through a radical transformation, not just a series of cosmetic changes.