Slovak National Party (Slovenská národná strana - SNS)

Slovak National Party claims to be the oldest Slovak political party, tracing its roots to the 19th century Slovak National Party. However this historical  SNS  was  rather  an  honorary  party  representing  all political groups nationally self-defined as Slovak. Moreover, there is no traceable continuity among these two subjects from 1938 to 1990. With the exception of the period from 2002 to 2006, SNS was a permanent parliamentary party. Since March 1990 when it was established, SNS has experienced several  internal  conflicts  and  secessions. Almost  immediately  afer the first general elections in 1990, Stanislav Pánis, a proponent of the ultra-nationalistic faction of SNS, left the party and formed the party Slovak National Unity (Slovenská národná jednota, SNJ). In 1993 a struggle between the liberal and nationalistic wings of the party resulted in the secession of the party leader Ľudovít Čermák and his followers and the election of a new chairman, Ján Slota. SNS was part of the majority in the two governments of Vladimír Mečiar from 1992 to 1993 and from 1994 to 1998.

After the elections 1998 SNS found itself in opposition and many started to question leadership of Ján Slota who was repeatedly publicly seen drunk. In 1999 Anna Malíková replaced Slota as a chairwoman of the party and internal tension resulted in split of the party and creation of Real Slovak National Party by Slota and his followers. Both parties shared principal ideology and policies and so they competed against each other over the same electorate what resulted into almost equal division of their votes in the general elections in 2002 and first absence of the SNS in the National Council since 1990. After this electoral defeat of both SNS and PSNS parties again merged in 2003 with Slota as a chairman and in 2006 SNS gained 11% of the votes and became the third biggest parliamentary faction and after eight years also part of the ruling coalition with Smer as a senior and ĽS - HZDS as a junior partner. In general elections of 2010 SNS lost more than half of the votes and with 5,07% barely entered the National Council. These results were interpreted by Slota as clear defeat. SNS was member of the Union for the Europe of Nations political group from 2002. From the 2009 it contributed to the groups strength in the European Parliament by its single deputy Jaroslav Paška. 

Election manifesto 2006

Slovak National Party’s campaign and manifesto for the elections of 2006 were conducted under the slogan “We are Slovaks. For Slovaks Slovak government”. This slogan in and by itself captures the key notion and goal of SNS in 2006. The main purpose, stated several times in  their manifesto,  was  to  establish  a  government  composed  only of Slovak political parties, meaning without any party representing ethic minority interests, especially those of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia. The creation of this so called “Slovak government” was necessary, according to SNS, because Slovak national interests were in grave danger. Two principal sources of danger were identified by the SNS 2006 manifesto.The first of these dangers was the threat of so-called Hungarian chauvinism and revisionism. In the view of SNS, Hungarian political representation, either in Hungary or in neighbouring countries where there is a significant Hungarian minority, is trying to change the borders established after the First World War. This is driven by the socalled Trianon trauma evident in Hungarian political representation and society. In the view of SNS, Hungary has still not accepted the results of the first and second world wars and plans to regain its territories lost as a result of the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In this respect SNS accused Party of Hungarian Coalition of loyalty and subordination to the Hungarian government, its leadership and goals. According to the SNS manifesto, both SMK and Budapest were guilty of infringement of Slovak laws and of the attempts to enforce extraterritorial Hungarian laws in Slovakia. In accordance with this view, SNS strongly condemns the secession of Kosovo from Serbia and rejects any possibility to recognize Kosovo as a sovereign state. The nation is more than simply a summary of the citizens – it is an entity with its own, distinctive identity. Mankind, in the understanding of SNS, is divided into nations which are primary functional entities. That is why the “nation state is the highest form of the national life” and also the only guarantee of the survival of the nation. It is necessary to stress that the nation is a value itself and, therefore, the loss of an identity or merger with another nation are considered to be morally unacceptable. To sum up the SNS manifesto for the general elections of 2006, the  nation  is  understood  as  the  primary  value  of  reference.  However the nation is not defined by race or blood but rather by culture, shared history and most importantly by language and values. In the view of the SNS manifesto of 2006, nation states are the most natural organizational entities for people to live in. The main purpose of the nation state is to defend national identity from alien influences. SNS did not distinguish between the Hungarian minority in Slovakia and the Hungarian government in Budapest. Hungarian political representation as a whole is working against Slovak national interests, with one goal: to reunite all the Hungarian population in central Europe in one country by annexation of at least some parts of Slovakia and other neighbouring countries. Slovakia is understood primarily as the nation state of the Slovak nation. Therefore, while not denying the concept of minority rights, SNS was very cautious in applying them. It considered minority rights to be granted by the state rather than being defined by some higher principle.

Election manifesto 2010

The ultimate goal of SNS was the protection of the distinctive Slovak identity which SNS believed is based upon Christian and national values. According to the SNS manifesto these values are the prerequisites of a successful and fulfilled life. On the other hand, globalization and cosmopolitanism were seen as destructive to these true values. School education should, in the opinion of SNS, fight the negative influences of commercialization and globalization and also actively promote patriotism, Christian values and national culture. The need for this kind of education did not concern just the school system, but rather it should influence all the citizens of the country. For example, athletes should be taught to be proud to represent the Slovak Republic. Facing the grave and immediate danger of Hungarian expansionism, it is necessary to strengthen the nation. Also, society should be prevented from moral decline. In its 2010 manifesto SNS also emphasized the need for economic sovereignty  and  autarky,  especially  in  the  sectors  of  food  production and energy industry. SNS did not trust foreign capital and big corporations, preferring Slovak companies instead. Concerning the European Union, SNS still advocated for a Europe of sovereign nation states and criticized the bureaucracy of the European institution. SNS would cooperate with the countries of central and Eastern Europe. SNS advocated for the establishment of an organization of and further cooperation between Slavic countries.As we can see, SNS in its manifesto for the general elections of 2010 defined the nation in terms of values and culture. It included ethnic minorities into the definition of national culture but still the state is to serve Slovaks primarily as a nation. This approach can be discerned by the suggested treatment of the Roma minority in the manifesto. Rather than speaking about helping this community, the manifesto calls for control of this ethnic group. Also very apparent is the polarized understanding of Slovak-Hungarian relations. SNS considers almost the entire community of the Hungarian minority in Slovakia to be disloyal to the country of their citizenship, and considers them to be a ‘fithh column’ of Hungarian revisionism. For SNS, it is clear that Hungarian political representation is plotting against Slovak’s territorial integrity. Election manifesto 2012 The 2013 manifesto contains numerous nationalistic claims towards the cultural and historical unity of the country. Party explicitly refuses the liberal immigrant policy produced by the EU. The international companies are perceived negatively – they misuse Slovak workers and the country as such. SNS, according to the manifesto, is only party that defends real Slovaks against external influences. In this context, Hungarian minority threats the Slovak national unity; even though, Hungary is arming against Slovakia. Nation understands the party collectively; the culture and historical heritage is at every occasion collective one, and must be developed collectively. In this respect, some groups are excluded from this process; Roma people are only misusing social security system. The society must act collectively as well. Children should be educated towards the patriotism and national pride at schools. Christianity plays very important role; the 2013 should be a “Year of Cyril and Method”.The EU is defined as an institution importing liberal policy such as multiculturalism; but in fact, the EU misuses Slovakia while ignoring national sovereignty and serving TNCs and global capitalism. Party refuses membership of Turkey in the EU and the EU colonialism. However, Croatia and Serbia should join the EU.