Fico Puts Forward Idea for New Project of Social Rights

Smer-SD chair Robert Fico (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, September 1 (TASR) – The Slovak Constitution is a modern legal document and we should be proud of it, Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) said in his speech at the Parliament on Friday which he delivered on the occasion of Constitution Day.

Having said that, the premier suggested that economic and social rights could actually be rephrased in the Constitution, because they are not enforceable in practice, and that the document could also provide guarantees of the minimum wage and its increases.

He went on to recognise the European Commission’s initiative concerning the European Pillar of Social Rights. Regardless of it, however, he suggested that a new “project of social rights” could be set up in Slovakia.

“Let’s start discussing which rights currently guaranteed by ordinary laws may be included in the Constitution instead. How about making the minimum wage a right guaranteed by the Constitution? And how about giving assurances that one is legally entitled to have their pay valorised. Let’s discuss the right to work and other rights that are currently only ‘declarative’ in the Constitution … I believe that we’re able to put in place a project involving the reformulation of economic and social rights and to give people substantially more rights in the Constitution than is currently the case,” said Fico, also noting the coalition’s commitment to the issue.

He went on to recollect that he himself as an MP voted in favour of the Constitution on September 1, 1992. “I was involved in it and I’ve never had any regrets for voting in favour of the Constitution,” he said.

Slovakia had three main desires at the time when the Constitution was being adopted, said Fico. They were to guarantee fundamental rights and freedoms, to become a true member of the European community, and to give a better life and more social certainties to its citizens. Twenty-five years later, these desires still hold, he noted but added that they need to be given fresh impetus.

Slovakia must remain a free and democratic country, he said. As regards the European community, he said that Slovakia is one of the most pro-European countries and that the country is committed to being in the EU’s core. He went on to say that we must not be oblivious to the need to adopt prudent measures that guarantee economic growth and financial discipline.