This week brings a watershed moment for Eastern European democracy. (U.S. News)
Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakia’s deputy prime minister, remembers all too clearly the undiplomatic characterization of his newly independent nation by then-Secretary of State Madeline Albright.
“It is a black hole,” she sniffed, explaining why she thought Slovakia was not ready for admittance to NATO or the European Union.
Diplomacy knoweth no determination like a nation scorned.
Lajcak, one of the continent’s more determined leaders on integration, is one reason Slovakia is among the most enthusiastic members of the European Union, and an early adopter of the euro in what is now Central Europe. Snubbed in the first round of NATO expansion, one of Slovakia’s greatest senses of accomplishment came from beating its former partners, the Czechs, its former rulers, the Hungarians, and its larger neighbor, Poland, into joining the euro currency zone.To read the full column, please go here