Germany and Slovakia: Bilateral relations
Germany and Slovakia enjoy close and friendly relations. These relations 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.
The two countries cooperate closely today, not least as part of an “enhanced dialogue” between the two Governments. Moreover, the German-Slovak Reflection Group founded by the foreign ministries of the two countries, which convenes once a year, can formulate thematic recommendations for cooperation and joint projects.
Germany and Slovakia are close partners in the European Union and NATO, which Slovakia joined in 2004. The quality of bilateral relations is evidenced by the frequency of high-level visits in both directions. Federal President Steinmeier paid official visits to Slovakia in September 2021 and April 2022. In May and June 2022 followed visits by Federal Defence Minister Lambrecht und Federal Finance Minister Lindner. Slovak Prime Minister Heger also came to Germany in June 2022 paying his first visit as prime minister. German Foreing minister Annalena Baerbock made her first official visit to Slovakia in July 2022. 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 2020 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 160,000 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. Forty schools in Slovakia belong to the Schools: Partners for the Future network supported by Germany.