On June 15, 2022, the Council of Europe Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities published its Fifth Opinion on the Slovak Republic. The report criticizes Slovakia, among others, for the discrimination of the Hungarian national minority, and specifically addresses the contemporary application of the Beneš decrees on the confiscation of private property targeting Hungarian and German minorities. The references on the violations of the rights of the Hungarian ethnic community may be considered as the success of the Hungarian minority advocacy in Slovakia.
The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM, Framework Convention) is Europe’s most comprehensive treaty protecting the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, and the first legally binding multilateral instrument devoted to the protection of national minorities worldwide. The implementation of the FCNM is monitored every five years. The Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention (ACFC, Advisory Committee), a committee of 18 independent experts, is responsible for providing a detailed analysis on minority legislation and practice and for adopting country-specific opinions.
The fifth monitoring cycle of Slovakia started in early 2019 with the submission of the Slovak country report. The Advisory Committee’s country visit usually takes place within a year, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the process was significantly delayed, and the on-site visit of the ACFC delegation could only take place in September 2021.