Welcome to the official website of the Institute for Public Affairs (IVO), an independent think-tank that specializes in public policy issues. The IVO was established in 1997 when the Slovak society mobilized its inner strength to cope with the arising threat of authoritarianism. It was a period during which Slovakia suffered from democratic deficits and was dealt several setbacks on its integration path to the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO). Through its research activities and expertise, the IVO joined the public debate on the direction in which Slovakia was heading and together with other civil society players it contributed to reversing the unfavourable trend of the country’s political development.
On the turn of the second decade of its existence, the IVO is determined to stay true to its principal mission, which is to strengthen the values of open society, democracy, liberty, human solidarity, equality of opportunities, and peaceful coexistence of all ethnic and religious groups. Following Slovakia’s accession to the EU and NATO, we will by all means further continuation of reform processes in the country. We want Slovakia not only to capitalize on its full-fledged membership in both integration groupings but also actively contribute to shaping their common policies and be a reliable partner and a firm ally to other member states. We also intend to share the experience gained during the process of Slovakia’s democratic transformation with our partners from countries that have not yet made a sufficient progress on their path toward democracy.
IVO surveys and analytical publications help the Slovak public learn and understand more about the state of our society. We approach the most pressing social problems so that our findings allow for seeking practical political solutions. The repeated changes in the configuration of political forces in Slovakia following each parliamentary election emphasize the importance of stability of democratic regime’s systemic foundations and reproduction of mechanisms preventing undesirable recurrence of past negative developments.
The intensity of our effort may be corroborated by over hundred publications, a great number of carried out sociological surveys and countless elaborated analyses. We are a part of the pro-reform alliance comprising subjects that strive for application of innovative social strategies. The participative approach we have applied from the beginning of our existence has led to formation of an informal coalition of research establishments specializing in social analysis (e.g. think-tanks, research agencies, academic and university establishments, and non-governmental organizations). The IVO is a member of several international networks associating professional organizations built on similar values.
We would like to contribute to enhancing the country’s democratic potential, improving the quality of life in Slovakia and deepening citizens’ active participation in administration of public affairs.
President, Institute for Public Affairs