Yearbook of Slovakia’s Foreign Policy 2007
The Yearbook of Slovakia’s Foreign Policy is a unique project which has for the past nine years been, we hope that successfully, contributing to the development of the tradition of the regular evaluation and analysis of the foreign policy of the Slovak Republic in the given year and supporting the cultivation of the foreign policy debate. This publication represents a significant and at the same time the only book source keeping record of the development of Slovakia’s foreign policy and the discussion on its further direction.
The foreign policy of every country needs to build its own traditions especially in the case of a young state such as the Slovak Republic. Should the foreign policy be successful it must have its own form, its own language and its own institutions. In this sense under the term institutions it is necessary to comprehend not only the buildings of state bodies which are occupied by those who are responsible for the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. In a democratic state the public discussion is a part of the formulation of all public policies and foreign policy is not an exception. It is very important that public discussion gains institutional forms which become a tradition because without traditions there is no continuity and the absence of continuity means the repetition of old mistakes and always starting from point zero. In other words tradition is institutionalized memory. New knowledge is impossible without memory and without knowledge there can be no good political decisions. That is why traditions are so important especially in an area such as the foreign policy of a state.
In this context it is possible to see the exceptionality of this publication as a ‘tradition’ as well as its specific position in the public debate on Slovakia’s foreign policy. It is a unique forum primarily dedicated to Slovakia’s foreign policy which provides space for those who bear the responsibility for the realization of the foreign policy of this country and those who are not indifferent to Slovakia’s foreign policy. The Yearbook serves for the exchange of opinions, knowledge, experience, positions and arguments with the goal of improving the quality of decisions in the area of foreign policy to best serve the interests of this country. We are convinced that it is very important to regularly evaluate the state of Slovakia’s foreign policy, which crucial events occurred in the past year and what challenges stand before the Slovak Republic in the near future. These were the main goals and intentions of the previous Yearbook editions; we prepared this year’s edition with identical objectives and we believe that we will do the same in the following years.
The 2007 Yearbook evaluates the year of our foreign policy in the traditional structure. It analyzes Slovakia’s operation in the international environment, the realization of the priority areas of our foreign policy as well as the effectiveness of the instruments of its implementation. The introductory contribution of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic is however an exception compared to previous years. It summarizes and evaluates the foreign policy of the past 12 months from the viewpoint of the person bearing the responsibility for the formulation and implementation of foreign policy throughout the electoral term. This text thematically corresponds to individual chapters in the Yearbook which gives the reader the unique opportunity of seeing the same issue from two different angles.