A Representative Body for Nationalities or a Simple Parliamentary Committee?

The Establishment of the Committee for Nationalities of the Slovak National Council in 1968

One of the achievements of the Prague Spring was the establishment of nationality bodies alongside the Czech and Slovak representative and executive bodies. In Slovakia, one such body was the Slovak National Council, the Nationalities Committee of the Slovak Parliament. The Nationalities Committee was envisaged by the nationalities of Slovakia, namely the Hungarians and the Ukrainians, to be the representative body of the national minorities. However, as the Slovak and Czech political leadership refused to allow the nationalities to have their own independent representative body, the Committee was finally established on 4 October 1968 as just one of the parliamentary committees. This paper discusses the background to the establishment of the Nationalities Committee and the circumstances surrounding its creation.