Parliament Passes Slovakia’s First New Security Strategy in 16 Years

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MPs (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, January 28 (TASR) – Parliament approved Slovakia’s new Security Strategy on Thursday.

For the first time in 16 years such a document was okayed not only by the government, but also by parliament.

Seventy-seven of 122 MPs present at the vote supported the document, while 14 were against and 31 refrained from voting.

The Security Strategy states that global security has deteriorated in several ways, which directly affects Slovakia’s security and resilience. The threats and challenges with which the country is confronted are ever more difficult, immediate and interconnected and have bigger impacts on people’s security.

The document states that the global pandemic has made some of the country’s vulnerabilities more visible. At the same time, it’s deepened existing trends such as weakening multilateralism, a renewed geopolitical struggle, the assertive promotion of individual interests and ongoing instability in Europe’s vicinity.

Slovakia commits itself to providing adequate resources for the defence system to function and to using them efficiently and transparently. The country will boost its defences concerning cyber threats and focus on preventing the causes of terrorist attacks. At the same time, the document notes that attention needs to be paid to hybrid threats, and the country should improve its resistance to disinformation. Among other things, the country should also focus on illegal migration and the fight against extremism.

The strategy acknowledges the USA as Slovakia’s strategic ally in NATO. It also states that Slovakia should develop its relations with Russia, which is an important partner in resolving international threats and challenges, but that country is also viewed as the main challenge for the Euro-Atlantic space due to its confrontational approaches in military, security and political areas. Meanwhile, China is also viewed as an important partner in resolving global challenges, but it’s also perceived as a rival in terms of the economy and technology.

The document also supports the adoption of sanctions by the EU as a political tool aimed at bringing about a change in behaviour of third countries and of natural and legal entities who are responsible for flagrant violations of international law, human rights and basic freedoms.

The Security Strategy should usually be updated every five to seven years, or in case the of any key change in Slovakia’s security environment.

Even though the previous government approved its own Security Strategy in October 2017, the document wasn’t submitted to parliament, meaning that it wasn’t ultimately greenlighted. The last such strategy to be approved by Parliament dates back to 2005.