Saturday

24th Feb 2018

Focus

Smiles and frowns in Slovak EU logo

  • All nine faces made of Slovak diacritical marks, one for every Council outcome (Photo: Jakub Dusicka)
(Photo: Jakub Dusicka)

The Slovak EU presidency logo is a blue emoji embedded in a red slogan.

The smily face conveys an optimism that is lacking in Europe.

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  • Jakub Dusicka, designer of the Slovak EU presidency's logo (Photo: Jakub Dusicka)

It will be tested when Slovakia takes over the EU post in July, amid the Brexit and migration crises.

The small, former communist, nation has never before chaired the EU Council, where member states meet.

That is why Jakub Dusicka, the 23 year-old designer of the logo, also made eight alternative emoticons.

All the faces are made from diacritical marks in the Slovak language. But some of the alternatives look angry. Others gaze out in sadness.

“I hope they will use all of them,” he told EUobserver.

He joked that the presidency should switch them round depending on the outcome of Council meetings.

Despite his sense of irony, Dusicka is an optimist.

“Language is important for politicians, their rhetoric can be their most powerful skill, so I wanted to represent that power of language in the logo,” he told this website.

“The presidency matters for Slovaks. It is quite important, especially if they are able to manage most of the issues,” he said.

The fine arts student won the competition out of 200 entries.

He is interested in typography and also designed the fonts used in the red slogan.

He said he wanted to use something Slovak, but to avoid folklore cliches. Part of the competition brief was to catch the eye of young professionals. Dusicka said emojis are used by both younger and older people these days.

He said that prior to the competition he was not interested in politics.

He was not alone. Slovakia had the lowest turnout of any EU country in the past three European Parliament elections.

According to official EU polls, 48 percent of Slovaks tend not to trust the EU while 34 percent think it is going in the right direction. People’s biggest concerns are immigration and sound public finances.

It is hard to say which one of Dusicka’s nine faces best catches the mood.

Ambivalent Slovakia prepares to take EU helm

Prime minister Robert Fico, one of main critics of EU migration policies, is about to lead Slovakia into its first presidency of the EU Council. He says he wants "normal dialogue" but will "not keep silent".

Slovakia to fight EU 'fragmentation'

When they take the presidency of the EU ministers council, Slovak authorities say they will try to avoid divisions on migration, manage the aftermath of the UK referendum and strengthen the single market.

Brexit casts shadow on Slovak EU presidency

Whatever happens in the British EU referendum, Slovakia's first-ever EU presidency will be dominated by EU-UK relations. But no plans can be made until the vote and an EU summit a week later.

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Corruption, organised crime, lack of foreign investment and digital skills make Bulgaria an unlikely standard bearer for the EU during its presidency. But perhaps Sofia can pull it off.

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