Slovak Foreign Minister expresses gratitude to the EU for peace and security, warns against hateful ideologies
Speaking at a conference dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Czechoslovak diplomatic corps, Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák said the European Union is the best guarantee that the way of life enjoyed by every nation in it can be maintained. He also said anybody who believes that fragmented nation-states will do a better job of facing up to the powers now rising within other civilizational circles is mistaken.
Lajčák warned against the rise of extremism and said membership in the EU is a vital interest for both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. "The European Union, with all its imperfections, is the best guarantee of upholding our European and national way of life and we must defend it," he said.
The Slovak Foreign Minister also pointed out that the EU has ensured peace on the continent, which in his view cannot be considered a matter of course. He appealed for the Czech and Slovak diplomatic corps to advocate for functional international institutions to be maintained.
Lajčák argued that such institutions have created a system of rules that facilitate the prosperity of smaller states. He also warned that whenever the international legal system has been disrupted in the past and big states have advocated for their interests through force, it has led to destructive conflicts.
The Slovak Foreign Minister also warned that many European countries are grappling with extremism right now. "Turbulent times favor the revival of hateful ideologies," he said.
"Czechoslovakia did not manage to resist [hateful ideologies] in the past, and even today we can see the relativization of rules happening in our countries. This is exactly the time that we must turn even more to what the last century has to teach us," he said.
Extremists, according to Lajčák, are being aided by new technologies easily facilitating distortion of information and the relativization of the truth, although he does not believe they will ever offer viable alternatives. "None of these new prophets has ever managed to answer the question of what a better alternative to the system of democratic institutions might be, because there is no such alternative," he said.
The Slovak Foreign Minister called for democracy and freedom to be defended and said he believes everybody must contribute to that defense. Such values are not automatic and each new generation must fight for them again, he said.
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