Bilateral cooperation in the area of education, youth and sport took place in compliance with fulfilling of commitments arising from valid bilateral agreements the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic entered into with countries from as well as outside of Europe. In compliance with the provisions of bilateral agreements with individual countries academic mobilities of students, PhD students, scientists, etc. took place.
The list of bilateral agreements (SK) is published on the web site of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.
Bilateral agreements cover cooperation in areas under the education department (education, science, research, sport and youth). The documents deal with the issue of mobility of students, PhD students and science and research workers, internships, and language courses. The agreements also include financial provisions, which set out both countries’ cooperation commitments in detail.
Details of each document's content are based on the current cooperation with a given country. Priorities and the direction of bilateral cooperation are in the line with the direction of Slovak Republic’s international and European policies (SK) created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic every year.
Cooperation and participation in worldwide programmes and organisation
In 1999 the Slovak Republic joined the Bologne process, result of which was the creation of a European higher education area based on common principles and background.
The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic keeps fulfilling tasks arising from the membership in international organisations (OECD, UN, UNESCO, European Council professional organisations ).
Cooperation with UNESCO
Cooperation between the Slovak Republic and UNESCO in the area of education has been developed through the "Associated Schools Project Network". The schools lay emphasis on education for democracy, tolerance, peace, human rights, international understanding and environmental education. The education sector participates in regular meetings of the Bureau of the Slovak Commission for UNESCO at the premises of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, as well as the General Assembly of the Slovak Commission for UNESCO and activities organized by Slovakia for UNESCO.
Cooperation with the European Council
The department of education takes an active part in activities of the European Council, member of which it has been since 1993. Since 1999 several international projects were carried out, e.g., Europe at School, Teaching Modern Languages, Education for Democratic Citizenship, study stays, etc. The Slovak Republic is involved in CE programs that are aimed at problems of education of children from disadvantaged background, particularly, the Romany children. Another big project was realised by the Council of Europe Centre of Modern Languages in Graz where foreign language teachers from Slovakia are sent to improve their knowledge of languages.
Cooperation with the European Council takes place by means of work of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic representatives in regular meetings of advisory bodies to the European Council that concern education, youth and sport.
Participation of representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic in committees/working groups of European Council:
- working group/committee
- Steering Committee for Youth
- Programme Board of the European foundation for youth
- Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE)
- T-RV – Standing Committee for European Convention on Spectator Violence and Misbehaviour at Sports, football matches in particular
- Sports Division of the European Council, Youth and Sport Directorate – monitoring group of the anti-doping convention RE /TDO/
- Sports Division of the European Council, Youth and Sport Directorate – ad hoc European Committee for World Anti-doping Agency / CAHAMA/
- EPAS Betting Regulators
Cooperation with OECD
The Slovak Republic became a member of OECD in December 2000. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic coordinates activities of the Slovak Republic in relation to OECD on the national level and Slovakia's involvement in professional OECD programmes and projects.
Slovakia and development aid
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic began to provide official development aid under SlovakAid in 2003, when Slovakia transformed from a recipient to a donor. This change was a result of the positive development of Slovak political and economic situation as well as the integration into strategic international structures (EU, OECD, NATO). The official development cooperation became an integral part of Slovak foreign policy. More than 400 projects have been implemented in almost 40 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe in 10 years. In 2013, the Slovak Republic became a member of the Development Aid Council of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (DAC OECD).
Slovakia offers development cooperation to partner countries with the intention of contributing to sustainable development mainly by means of:
- development of human potential of partner states, mainly by means of support of education and employment;
- support of democracy and good public administration including the dialogue between civil society and state institutions.
Medium term strategy for development cooperation of the Slovak Republic for 2019 - 2023 (SK) reflects new requirements imposed on the system of Slovak development cooperation which are a result mostly of accession process and membership of the Slovak Republic in OECD/DAC2. It defines a vision, targets and principles of Slovak Aid, basic programmes as well as tools to be used in these programmes. The document also defines territorial and sector priorities of Slovak Aid and the control mechanism.
Development cooperation of the Slovak Republic in the period 2019–2023 is implemented in the regions of the Western Balkans, the Eastern Partnership of the EU, Eastern Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. Activities of SlovakAid are still carried out in Afghanistan.
Among the sectoral priorities, the priority is education at all levels of schools, acquisition of professional skills focusing on entering the labor market and own entrepreneurship, education of teaching and non-teaching staff, equipment of school facilities.
Visegrad group (V4)
Visegrad group (V4) is an informal grouping of 4 central European countries – the Slovak Republic, Czech Republic, Hungarian Republic and Polish Republic. Regional cooperation of V4 has been successfully developing for 20 years in sectoral and cross-sectoral area, including education – e.g. fellowship exchange programmes, and in promoting the common interests in EU as well as in relation to third countries/regions.
Cooperation of V4 is coordinated by the ministries of foreign affairs and the national Visegrad coordinators.
The only institutionalised form of cooperation between V4 countries is the International Visegrad Fund (IVF). V4 member states contribute equal share to the fund. IVF means serve to support grants, scholarships, residential or mobility programmes. In addition to membership contributions, Since 2012, the fund has been able to use contributions by external donors, which include Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland of USA.
Slovakia and international organisations focusing on scientific research
The Slovak Republic is a member of several international organisations focusing on scientific research such as
- European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN),
- International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB),
- International Institute of Refrigeration (IIR) and
- Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR), and other.
Membership in these organisations helps the Slovak Republic to create and improve its research and development, enables participation of Slovak businesses in acquiring orders, training of experts for work with scientific devices, which Slovakia lacks due to them being costly, enables participation in scientific research of international importance and so on.