The 2014 European Parliament elections have raised hopes for thefirst truly European elections. In the Central East European region, however, the only signs ofa cross-border dimension to this event ironically originate with the Ruch Narodowy and the Jobbik, two extremely nationalistic and Eurosceptic parties of Poland and Hungary. The 2014 elections to the European Parliament have now for some time raised hopes for a genuinely European election.
We have another nice piece into the mosaic of the new political movements in the Czech Republic. How they communicate; what their goals and policies are; whom do they represent…The following interview was not authorized by the interviewed MP. We have tried to get an authorization several times, but nobody has replied our e-mails and calls. Nevertheless, we have decided to publish the interview in its whole as it is of value in showing how the movement attracts its electorate and how it builds up its argumentation and policies as such.
With the Olympic festivities in Sochi under way, several European political leaders took up the opportunity to raise their concerns over the rights of the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans] community in Russia by boycotting the event. The central European region, however, was rather well represented in Sochi, with the highest political representatives stating that politics do not suit the Olympic games. The Slovak president Gašparovič, along with the presidents of the Czech Republic and Hungary, among others, was not missing at the opening ceremony.
When Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union in 2007, the states of the “E-15” with the exception of Finland and Sweden, plus Hungary and Malta, applied a seven-year transition period related to one of the so called European “four freedoms”, particularly the freedom of movement of workers. The end of the transition period on 31th December 2013 caused a re-appearance of the issue of immigration in political debate in some of the EU member states.
While arguments related to the balance of power have primarily structured the presidential campaign in Slovakia, the pre-election discourse gives us also a few hints related to themes marking the Slovak national identity. Although the candidates for the office of the president have so far largely avoided directly tackling issues that are immediately related to the questions of national identity, several recent developments captured by the media are suggestive of the atmosphere in which the election campaign is being conducted.