The Slovak Republic does not have a unified state protocol system in place. The protocol in the Slovak Republic consists of individual protocol departments serving the top constitutional officials, namely: the Office of the President of the Slovak Republic, the Office of the Speaker of the National Council of Slovak Republic and the Office of the Government of the Slovak Republic. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (“MFEA”) has its Diplomatic Protocol Department, while other Ministries operate smaller protocol units.
Diplomatic Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
The work of the Diplomatic Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is divided into three main areas as follows:
1. Organisation of official visits / care for official guests
2. Matters relating to the diplomatic corps
3. Management and administration
1. The Diplomatic Protocol Department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (also abbreviated as “DPD”) supervises all activities regarding the protocol and ceremonial aspects of foreign relations in the Slovak Republic. The DPD is responsible for the organisation and coordination of official visits and ceremonies involving foreign dignitaries in the Slovak Republic, including heads of states, speakers of parliaments, prime ministers and ministers of foreign affairs. The DPD is also responsible for the preparation and coordination of official visits and for the programme of official guests. In preparing these visits, the DPD coordinates its activities with other state protocol departments and coordinates the requests of visiting officials with the appropriate diplomatic missions.
The DPD also co-organises ceremonies held at the Presidential Palace and Prime Minister’s Office on the occasion of state visits by heads of state and official visits by prime ministers, as well as National Day celebrations. It also co-organises the ceremonial audiences at which ambassadors present their credentials to the President of the Slovak Republic.
2. In the diplomatic sphere, the DPD is responsible for direct communication with the diplomatic missions, consular posts, and their staff, including the special missions of international organisations. The DPD coordinates matters relating to the activities of diplomatic staff and the performance of their functions.
3. The DPD is responsible for procedures concerning the accreditation of diplomats posted to missions in the Slovak Republic, accompanies them throughout their term of office in the Slovak Republic and, along with other responsible institutions and bodies, provides them with all appropriate assistance and services to enable them to perform their functions. DPD tasks also include managing and overseeing any matters pertaining to the privileges and immunities of the diplomatic corps in accordance with their status and existing treaties, laws and regulations.
The DPD is responsible for the publication of the Diplomatic Corps List and the issuance of identity cards for the diplomatic, consular, and administrative staff of foreign missions and international organisations. It handles and administers requests for clearance of overflights by state planes and also deals with tax-related issues.
In addition to the above, the DPD also prepares letters of credence for the ambassadors and consular commissions for the consuls appointed by the Slovak Republic to their posts, and briefs them, along with other MFA employees, on the protocol and ceremonial aspects of their work. The DPD is responsible for organising events, meetings, tours, and visits for the diplomatic corps. It also provides assistance and guidance on issues of protocol to various governmental, municipal, and other authorities of the Slovak Republic.