Slovakian prime minister and chair of Smer party Robert Fico EPA-EFE/JAKUB GAVLAK


‘Pro-Russian’ Fico to become Slovakian PM in time for European Council summit


Robert Fico is to be installed as Prime Minister of Slovakia just in time for the summit of the European Council on October 26-27.

Dubbed “pro-Russian” by many commentators for his negative stance on the European Union’s support of Ukraine in its war against Russia, Fico will lead a new coalition of left-wing and hard-right parties.

This will be Fico’s fourth stint as Prime Minister of Slovakia.

His appointment is likely to cause a stir at the Council, as the Ukraine war and migration – over which he bucks the EU consensus – are the leading issues on the body’s provisional agenda.

Despite that, Anrej Danko, the head of the hard-right Slovak National Party (SNS) and Fico’s coalition partner, said: “I believe that Robert Fico can happily go to Brussels on Thursday.”

Fico’s electoral success has already caused a stir within the so-called “Eurobubble”.

While his Smer party and his other coalition ally, Peter Pellegrini’s Hlas party, both identify as being left-wing, Social Democratic movements, they hold Conservative positions on issues such as mass migration and LGBT matters.

This led to the European Parliament’s centre-left S&D Group expelling its Slovakian MEPs earlier in October over their differences of opinion.

That did not stop the centre-right EPP Group from taking pot-shots at the EU Socialists, with EPP head Manfred Weber comparing the Slovakian’s membership of S&D to the former EPP membership of Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party.


The longest-serving head of state since the fall of Communism, Fico was forced to resign after a mass wave of protests in 2018. Those were caused by the assassination of the journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancé after the publication of an in-depth investigation into alleged ties between the then-government and organised crime.

The following government, led by the centrist-populist OL’aNO party and its showman leader Igor Matovič, proved highly unstable.

The resulting political chaos and the harsh economic circumstances unleashed by the Covid-19 pandemic, plus Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, allowed Fico to stage a comeback.

The issue of political stability is an important one for the current regime. “I will do everything to ensure there is a stable government in these next four years,” said Danko.

The new administration hit a bump when the Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová refused to appoint the first suggested environment minister, Rudolf Huliak. Čaputová, a member of Progressive Slovakia – the main Liberal and pro-EU opposition party – said she could not appoint anyone she considered to be climate change denier.

While the new government is likely to continue causing a stir in the EU, some observers believe Fico and his administration are ultimately pragmatists.

With the next EU Council summit imminent, Fico’s position on various issues remain to be seen.