Economy and Diplomacy
Orientation of the Economic Dimension
From the historical point of view, the end of the 20th century has also brought the end of the ideological, bipolar division of the world, which thus eliminated the danger of the outbreak of a world war to a large extent. From the standpoint of world diplomacy, this development has brought a number of new aspects, including the shift of focus towards the security, legislative and economic dimensions.
Tangible manifestations of the impact of the economic dimension include the completion of negotiations on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, preparations for the enlargement of the European Union, activities within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as a number of specific activities within the UN.
Since 1989, economic aspects have been increasingly more present in Slovakia's foreign policy, too - in both the bilateral and multilateral area.
In small countries, progress of foreign trade is one of the most important factors affecting the economy and prosperity of a given country. The promotion of Slovakia's foreign trade and trade policy interests is therefore a matter of Slovakia's whole diplomatic service.
The term "economic dimension of diplomacy" is relatively broad and covers activities ranging from general economic and political, through financial, to trade and investment activities. Despite the current division of competences between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy, it is the obligation of every Slovak diplomat today to monitor and promote the objectives of the Slovak Republic's economic, financial and trade policy.
In the multilateral area, extraordinary attention has been paid to the implementation of the Association Agreement concluded with the European Union, which, from the economic point of view, is the most comprehensive foreign policy task. Precisely for this reason, maximum co-ordination between all involved sectors and institutions is necessary in its implementation. For this purpose, the Council of the Government for Slovakia's Integration into the EU has been set up at the Office of the Government of the Slovak Republic.
Another important element of multilateral economic diplomacy is the Slovak Republic's active participation in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which it joined on 14 December 2000.
The Slovak Republic is a founding member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and it actively participates in the work of UN specialised agencies and organisations.