MS v hokeji 2022
MS v hokeji 2022

President sees no conflict with Constitution regarding Slovak-US DCA

President sees no conflict with Constitution regarding Slovak-US DCA

President Zuzana Caputova supports the conclusion of the Defence Cooperation Agreement with the USA. However, part of the authorisation to sign will be an interpretation statement of how Slovakia sees the agreement. The President will give this particular part to a member of the Government as part of its process of adoption. She did not find any conflict with the Slovak Constitution from constitutional lawyers, therefore she will not address the Constitutional Court.

The interpretation clause is intended to state, for example, that the agreement will be implemented in a way that does not in any way endanger or limit Slovakia's sovereignty and does not reduce the security of the Slovak Republic. According to Caputova, the American side does not have to sign the interpretation clause. "If it [USA] rejects it [the agreement], then we aren't interested in signing the agreement, because this is what we insist on in this agreement," she added.

President's statement was welcomed by Prime Minister Eduard Heger as well as by the Foreign Minister Ivan Korcok (a Freedom and Solidarity/SaS nominee). According to Heger, the agreement strengthens the defence capacity and sovereignty of both Slovakia and the EU. The Foreign Minister reiterated that the aim is solely to strengthen the security and defence of the state, as well as the ability to meet Slovak NATO commitments and bilateral security guarantees.

The opposition criticises the agreement and talks about creating US military bases in Slovakia, bringing US troops closer to the Russian border and curtailing the competencies of our state authorities. Several former politicians as well as the extra-parliamentary Voice-SD called on the head of state to approach the Constitutional Court with the defence agreement.

Commenting on the head of state's statements, opposition Smer-SD leader Robert Fico said on Thursday that „the anti-Slovak and purely pro-American stance“ of President Zuzana Caputova is a reason for a referendum to be held as soon as possible. The Smer-SD leader reiterated that Slovakia does not need any agreement and it is not even increasing its defence capacity. He is convinced that this makes the country a more attractive military target.

The extra-parliamentary Voice-SD party does not consider the interpretation clause, by which the head of state conditioned her signing of this agreement, to be a solution. According to Pellegrini, the president did not refute it but, by improving the agreement, she confirmed the doubts that many people in Slovakia have concerning the treaty with the USA.

The Defence Cooperation Agreement between Bratislava and Washington does not set up any permanent US military bases in Slovakia, nor does it allow the US Armed Forces to enter the country without permission, the spokeswoman of the US Embassy in Slovakia Tara Hall stated for TASR.

The DCA deal was greenlighted by the Government last week. It still needs to be passed by Parliament and ratified by the president. The Agreement would enable American military forces to use Slovakia's Malacky-Kuchyna and Sliac military airbases and other facilities and premises by agreement for a period of ten years. The Government representatives declared that the agreement does not endanger Slovakia's sovereignty.

Source: TASR

Martina Šimkovičová, Photo: TASR

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