The Government and Politics of the European Union

Seventh edition

by Neill Nugent


Population 5.4
Capital Bratislava
Surface area 49,000 km2
Official Language Slovak
Gross domestic product (GDP) (in euros) 89.14 bn
GDP as a % of EU-27, based on 2009 data 0.75
GDP per capita by purchasing power standards (indexed to EU average of 100) 71.8
Currency Euro
Human development index (HDI), an index based on life expectancy, education and GDP (max. 1) 0.863
World rank in HDI 42/177
Key economic sectors (% of GDP in 2002) Services (67.4); industry (28.6); agriculture (4.0)
Unemployment in January 2010 13.7% (source:
Main religious denominations (% of population) Roman Catholic (68.9); Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession (6.9); Greek Catholic (4.1)
Political system The President is directly elected and can serve a maximum of two five-year terms. The unicameral legislature, the National Council, serves a four-year term.
Electoral system The National Council is elected by proportional representation
Current (March 2010) leaders President: Ivan Gasparovic (b. 1941), since June 2004
Prime minister: Robert Fico (b. 1964), since July 2006
Previous leaders: Presidents: Rudolf Schuster (1998-2004); Michal Kovac (1993-1998)
Prime ministers: Mikulas Dzurinda (1998-2006); Vladimir Meciar (1994-98); Jozef Moravcik (1994)
Joined the EU/EC 2004
Commissioner from country in Barroso II College of Commissioners, and portfolio Maros Sefcovic (Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, Vice-President of the Commission)
Number of MEPs 13/754
Turnout in 2009 EP elections (%) 19.6
Member of eurozone Yes (joined on 1 January 2009)

Except where a specific reference is inserted, the sources for this profile are either Neill Nugent’s book itself, or Barry Turner (ed.), The Statesman’s Yearbook Online, Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan. If your library subscribes, you can gain access at