Hungarians in Slovakia and the Evolution of Hungarian–Slovakian Bilateral Relations—Improvement or Stalemate?

In: European Yearbook of Minority Issues Online
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This article analyses developments in Hungarian–Slovakian bilateral relations since the new Slovak government took office in 2012 and the countries’ governments developed friendly relations. Analysis shows it is too early to discuss a turning point in bilateral relations. Underlying problems can erupt into conflict. An overview of serious issues shows they are almost exclusively related to minority rights. Improvement cannot be expected without eliminating the sources of minorities’ dissatisfaction. Analysis of meetings, especially of the Slovakian–Hungarian Joint Commission for the Issues of Minorities, shows that despite the parties’ intentions to improve their relationship they were unable to solve issues requiring policy change. To some extent, the approach to preventing conflicts is part of the obstacle to harmonious Slovakian–Hungarian relations. Not all conflicts are the same: those that result in solving contentious issues are necessary to achieve long-term stability. The bilateral approach’s usefulness should be evaluated considering this differentiation.

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