Ivan Korčok, recently the Slovak Ambassador to the U.S., has been appointed Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic in the cabinet of the new Slovak government led by Prime Minister Igor Matovič. The February 29 parliamentary elections saw the rise of Matovič’s OLaNO party, which was able to form a new governing coalition with three other parties. In the course of selecting positions in the cabinet, the SAS party headed by Richard Sulík, chose Amb. Korčok as Foreign Minister, even though he is not a member of SAS. He will serve as an independent member of the cabinet. As the new Slovak government was forming in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister Korčok had to quarantine for two weeks in Bratislava before he could begin his appointment. Korčok’s selection as Foreign Minister was hailed by many in Slovakia, the EU, and the West generally, as he represents a strong pro-EU, pro-NATO and Trans-Atlantic perspective, which is consistent with the manifesto of the new governing coalition.
Minister Korčok has had a highly distinguished diplomatic career. Prior to serving as Slovak Ambassador in Washington since 2018, his positions included serving from August 2015 as State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. He served as the Government Plenipotentiary for the Slovak Presidency in the Council of the EU between May and December 2016 and represented the Council as Minister Délégué before the European Parliament. He also served in Brussels between 2009-2015 as Permanent Representative of the Slovak Republic to the EU, and as Slovak Ambassador to Germany from 2005-2009. Minister Korčok began his career in 1992 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he held a number of senior positions, including Director of the Department for Policy Planning and Analysis (1997-1998), Director General for International Organizations and Security Policy (2001-2002), and State Secretary (2002-2005). In 2003, he served as the Head of Delegation of the Slovak Republic on Accession Talks to NATO and Member of the European Convention in Brussels.
During his relatively brief tenure in Washington, Amb. Korčok was a dynamic leader on many levels. He not only represented Slovakia to the U.S. Government and the Congress, but was active with the broader foreign policy community, the Slovak American and émigré communities, and in organizing important cultural programs, such as the memorable “Slovaks at Carnegie Hall” concert event in New York City in January. Friends of Slovakia extends its congratulations and sincere best wishes to Minister Korčok as he continues his service and mission advancing the interests of Slovakia and Slovaks to the world community.