Fico: We Have Nickname ‘Rustic Social Democracy’ in Europe

The delegations of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico (right) and European Council President Donald Tusk (left) debating preparations of the Bratislava summit in Brussels. (Photo by TASR)

Brussels, September 2 (TASR-correspondent) – Slovak senior governing party Smer-SD has the nickname ‘rustic social democracy’ in Europe, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told TASR on Friday.

Speaking in Brussels following a meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk, Fico was responding to a TASR’s question whether he perhaps wants to make the EU’s language more accessible to the public at the informal summit in Bratislava on September 16.

Fico has complained several times in the past that the vocabulary of the Brussels elite is too heavy-handed, technocratic and incomprehensible for ordinary people.

“We have the nickname ‘rustic social democracy’ in Europe … That’s because we’re able to communicate in Slovakia with a language that’s comprehensible enough for the public,” said Fico, adding that the Slovak Presidency of the EU Council also wants to do likewise.

“With digitisation being discussed now, we’d like to explain to people what it is. At the moment, when people in Slovakia hear a sentence like ‘the EU will deal with digitisation as its top priority in the next few years’, many say to themselves: ‘God save us! What’s that?!’,” said Fico.

The Slovak premier appeared before journalists in Brussels after talks lasting more than an hour with Tusk dealing with preparations for the Bratislava summit on September 16.

“New ways of communication of the EU with the public should belong among five or perhaps six priorities to be decided upon by the Bratislava Process,” said Fico.

Earlier he said that the Bratislava summit can be viewed as the beginning of the “Bratislava Process” – a broader framework of deliberations of EU leaders that will continue next year in Malta and conclude in Rome marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Economic Community.