5.1 General context
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Young people’s participation in public affairs and social life does not include only their right to vote and to be voted, but also activism in leisure time. Its assumption is young people’s right to be heard and to take part in making decisions about things that affect them (Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Youth for the Years 2014-2020).
The term „youth participation“ is anchored in the legislation (Act on Youth Work Support) as active involvement of youth in the process of planning, deciding and implementing of events and projects in the field of the societal and economic life.
The Slovak Republic is a parliamentary democracy.
The main legislative body is the unicameral parliament – the National Council of the Slovak Republic with 150 members that are elected for four years.
The main executive body is the Government of the Slovak Republic and is appointed by the president. It consists of the head of the government – the prime minister, deputy prime ministers and representatives of 14 ministries of the Slovak Republic:
- Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Investments, Regional Development and Informatization of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Interior of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Defence of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic
- Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic
The head of the state is the president who is elected for a five-year term by direct popular vote and has relatively representative role with limited powers.
The main judicial body is the Constitutional Court of Slovakia that consists of 13 members. The members of the constitutional court are appointed by the president who chooses the half of the candidates nominated by the parliament. The court resolves the constitutional issues.
Regional and local level
Slovakia is a centralised countryconsisting of 8 self-governing regions and around 2 900 municipalities. The representatives at the regional and local level are elected every four years. The representative institutions at the regional level are regional councils – the head of the region is a governor. The representative institutions at the local level are municipal councils – the head of the municipality is a mayor.
Participation in the elections is voluntary. A proportional electoral system is applied in Slovakia; the citizens vote on the basis of ballots, which they deliver to the ballot boxes in person or they can post them. The citizens vote in approximately 6,000 polling districts during the elections (Act on Conditions of the Exercise of Voting Rights/Zákon o podmienkach výkonu volebného práva).
People with Slovak nationality living abroad or Slovak citizens who are abroad during the election dates can use the right to vote by post. They have to send request to the local self-government office, and they will obtain all documents in advance (35 days before the election date). Currently, it is possible to vote by post only at the national parliamentary elections.
The voting right is not transferable onto another person.