Europe

The Embassy of Slovakia in Germany Engaging in Cultural Diplomacy

Slovakian Embassy in Berlin has recently hosted a series of cultural events in order to promote cultural diplomacy and enhance German-Slovakian relations

December 06th, 2017
Tereza Richterová, Berlin Global
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The Slovakian Embassy in Berlin has been working hard on strengthening relations between both countries. This year, the Embassy hosted a series of events which celebrated Slovakian identity and its connections to Germany.

The last official presidential visit in Germany of the President of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska, was in Berlin on December 12, 2016. The visit was accompanied accompanied by Petra Lizák, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Germany. Slovak President Kiska met with German President Joachim Gauck during a working lunch. The lunch was held in an friendly atmosphere where both presidents confirmed the high level of bilateral relations and the interest in their development and cooperation within the EU and NATO as well. They also discussed a possible future scenario of the EU as well as populism and an increase in anti-European tensions across the whole of Europe. A. Kiska and J. Gauck agreed that in order to stop populism, it is necessary to specifically address the existing problems. President Kiska subsequently delivered a well-received speech at the Konrad Adenaure Foundation on "How to restore citizens' trust in a common European project". The full-day program was ended by a gala evening concert with the participation of both presidents, performed by top Slovak opera singers - Edita Gruberová, Pavol Bršlík, Zuzana Šveda, Richard Šveda with Petr Valentovič's piano accompaniment.

A few months later, on Monday, March 3 2017, Robert Fico, Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, had a meeting with the head office of Angela Merkel and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka in Berlin. The meeting was held on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the German-Czech-Slovak Agreement on Good Neighborhood and Friendly Cooperation.
The Office and the two Prime Ministers have stated an excellent level of mutual relations and have agreed on deepening cooperation in the fields of economy, science, research and innovation. The partners then held a lively discussion with several dozen students from all three countries.

The next important event related to Slovakian-German relations was held on June 9, 2017, on Berneuerstrasse, Berlin, next to the Berlin Memorial. This was a gala event releasing the Memorial of commemorating the contribution of the V4 countries to the fall of communism and the removal of the Berlin Wall. The monument is an expression of unique thanks, as well as the appreciation of the role V4 played in the fall of Communism. The rising figure in figure 4 will symbolize the added value of reform change and peaceful revolutions in the V4 countries. The author of the work is the German sculptor Hans Joachim Albrechtt.

The initiator of the monument was the Adalbert Foundation, who built it with the support of the V4 countries in Germany, the Berlin Wall Foundation and the Bethel Foundation.
Former dissidents from the V4 countries, including former President of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, František Miklošek and former Prime Minister of the Slovak, Ján Čarnogurský participated in this event as well.

The Slovak foreign administration is aware of the power of cultural diplomacy and that is why often organizes cultural events at their Embassies in order to promote soft power
In cooperation with the Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur in Berlin (Federal Foundation for SED-dictatorship), the Embassy of the Slovak Republic and the Slovak Institute in Berlin prepared, on 23 November 2017, the event "Für Freiheit, Gott und die Jugend, Anton Srholec und die slowakische Opposition in CSSR "(For Freedom, God and Youth, Anton Srholec and the Slovak Opposition in Czechoslovakia). The Deputy Director of the Dr. Foundation Robert Grünbaum and Director of the Slovak Institute Viera Polakovičová. The event was attended by Ambassador Peter Lizák. The first part was screening Alena Čermáková's film "Anton Srholec" (2015), in the second part a discussion with representatives of German and Slovak Christian dissent.

The screening took place with the participation of the creators, director Alena Čermáková and the composer Ivan Čermák. Numerous audiences with great interest watched the story of Anthony Srholc and listened to a discussion with the theologian, the Evangelical dissident, the re-emergent Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany and the current chairman of the Board of the SED-dictatorship, Markus Meckel, and the senior representatives of Catholic dissent and the reversing politician, , Dr. František Mikloškom. The debate was led by German journalist Dr. Jacqueline Boysen. It related to the personalities of Anton Srholz, the activities of the secret church in Slovakia and the Christian opposition in Germany.

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