Slovakia’s EU membership is criticized by the SaS party, particularly its financial aspects: “Slovakia is in the state of an economic slavery.” The SaS leader further calls the EU policies a “Brussels socialism” referring to the lack of autonomy and freedom. Slovakia is conceptualized as a ‘sell-out’, i.e. a country that traded freedom for some economic benefits which are not even real: “Slovak matters are decided in Brussels and most of Slovakia’s parliament has been reduced to a puppet show.” The SaS’s concept of the country is not based ethnic affiliation and does not use the term ‘nation.’
The party strives to explicitly refute the doubts about diminished sovereignty resulting from the country's membership in international structures.
“We are often criticised for the close cooperation with the EU bodies that leads to the loss of sovereignty, the loss of supremacy. To the contrary, implementation of commitments ensuing from our membership in the EU and the Euro-zone is not the loss or a restriction of our sovereignty but the fundamental prerequisite of the strong and successful Slovakia. The worst scenario for Slovakia would be isolation.”
In the SMER-SD discourse EU membership is construed as a matter of utility not as a matter of professing the same values. Since Slovakia is a small country it must espouse solidarity and human rights principles in order to prevent international isolation. It is thus implied that Slovakia submits to the EU dictate in order to gain both politically (inclusion in the international community) and economically (structural funds). This is somewhat similar to the SaS discourse which asserts that there once was a time when Slovakia was willing to submit to any requirements imposed by the EU and other international structures in order to join the league of relevant European stakeholders. However, it is time to put the country first and to “protect Slovakia’s interests.”