European Voices: Slovakia‎

We should learn from South Europe

Britain would be abandoning Europe to its troubles

viola PE
Viola TernenyovaMédecins Sans Frontières, fundraising and promotion

Bratislava – A lot of Slovaks work in Britain so [Brexit] would be a big step into the unknown. A lot of people [I know] went to Britain for some time in their life, it’s a very popular country for Slovaks, because of the English language, and it’s closer than America.

Slovakia is benefitting a lot from EU membership, but there are people here who are advertising EU funds, but at the same time saying we’re not going to accept the Brussels dictate. This is the feeling here in Slovakia: yes for the benefits, no for the duties!

I feel Britain is trying to find it’s own identity and leaving everyone in their troubles alone. For me the best thing is if the European Union keeps together – but not together as in building fences, and improving security, police and surveillance, but together as in cooperation and solidarity. But I see this more in the southern countries, [whereas] in the North, and even in Eastern Europe, you don’t feel it.

Since the summer, in Slovakia it’s been very negative. Slovakia doesn’t really have experience with refugees, and Slovaks consider that they are reaching the development of Western Europe – any challenge is perceived as ‘we don’t want this, we’re on our way to reach our targets for development’. People are very passive, and this is partly the result of the Communist time before: people aren’t really aware of their rights, and what they can do.

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