Germany and Slovakia: Bilateral Relations Slovakia

17.08.2020 - Article

Germany and Slovakia enjoy close and friendly relations. They are based on the Treaty on Good-neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, dating from 27 February 1992, which was recognised by the Slovak Republic as one of the successor states to the CSFR.

Relations between the two countries are no longer marred by problems relating to the first Slovak state (1939-44) headed by Jozef Tiso under the “protection” of Nazi Germany, the suppression of the Slovak National Uprising by German troops in 1944 and the flight and expulsion of the Carpathian Germans. As early as 1991, a declaration issued by the Slovak parliament helped advance the development of a joint perspective on these difficult chapters in the countries’ shared history.

Today the two countries cooperate closely, not least in an “enhanced dialogue” between the two governments. Germany and Slovakia are close partners in the European Union and in NATO, which Slovakia joined in 2004. The quality of bilateral relations is evidenced by the frequency of high-level visits in both directions. In 2019, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel was presented with the Order of the White Double Cross of the Slovak Republic at an award ceremony in Bratislava.

As in previous years, Germany remained Slovakia’s most important trading partner in 2019 in terms of both exports and imports. Some 500 German companies have made investments in the Slovak Republic since its foundation in 1993, creating around 100,000 jobs. This means that Germany is one of the principal foreign direct investors in Slovakia.

Cultural and societal relations between Germany and Slovakia are close and diverse. There is a lively exchange in all areas of culture, through official institutions, private foundations and private contacts. German cultural intermediaries – such as the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Central Agency for Schools Abroad (ZfA) – are involved in numerous activities in Slovakia as part of Germany’s cultural relations and education policy. German is the second most important foreign language taught in Slovak schools after English, and as such is a cornerstone for the close relations between the two countries. 38 schools in Slovakia belong to the Schools: Partners for the Future network supported by Germany.

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