Tuesday

30th Aug 2016

Focus

Slovak high school voters would send extremists to the EP

  • Slovak secondary school students send a message to traditional parties (Photo: Night Owl City)

Although Slovak voters are yet to elect 13 MEPs to the 751-strong EU Parliament this Saturday (24 May), high school students have already expressed their preferences.

In recent mock elections, almost eleven percent of their votes – translating into three parliamentary seats – were for the far-right Our Slovakia party.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

While these are neither representative results, nor an indicator of the actual upcoming vote, they reveal how the next generation of voters perceives Slovakia, says the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO) who organised the mock vote.

Sixty-two secondary schools took part in the project, with the turnout standing at 46 percent – way above what is typical for EU votes in the country.

The most surprising finding was that the far-right extremists secured three MEPs (as did the ruling social democrats, Smer-SD), with Martin Kotleba, a candidate on the Our Slovakia party list, gaining the most preferential votes. The candidate's name is very similar to his party leader, Marian Kotleba.

The ruling social democrats as well as the main opposition parties should take this preference for the surname Kotleba seriously, said IVO's Zora Butorova.

"This means that mainstream parties are unable to find satisfactory answers to young people's problems."

Vladimir Bilcik, Head of European Studies at the Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association, said the emergence of extremist views has been "underestimated" in Slovakia.

He says that mainstream parties should pay more attention to issues such as migration and the Roma minority.

"The problem is that several mainstream parties fight for their political survival, and a ruling party could lose some of its popularity by addressing these topics. It is a short-sighted approach, however."

The latest poll by Focus agency shows that the ruling Social Democrats (Smer-SD) will win the elections with 37 percent, translating into seven seats.

Six more Slovak parties are set to make it into the EP, each gaining one seat. Among them, the Christian Democrats (KDH) are slated to gain the most votes (around 9 percent), with the eurosceptic Freedom and Solidarity Party (SAS) rounding off the list with 5.1 percent of votes.

Turnout is once more set to be extremely low: between 16-21 percent of voters are expected to go to the urns. In 2009, 19.6 percent of Slovaks voted; five years prior to that it was 16.9 percent.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic CouncilNordic-Baltic co-operation vital in turbulent times
  2. GoogleBrussels - home of beer, fries, chocolate and Google’s Public Policy Team - follow @GoogleBrussels
  3. HuaweiSeeds for the Future Programme to Bring Students from 50 countries to China for Much-Needed ICT Training
  4. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  5. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  6. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  7. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  8. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  9. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  10. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  11. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  12. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!