After Slovakia obtained independence (1993), domestic economic and political problems seemed almost insurmountable. The former socialist country felt that it was not able to master all these problems on its own. The desire of Slovakia was to extricate itself from the shade of the USSR, recover and re-integrate with Western Europe. To use a folktale analogy, Slovakia seemed like a ‘poor Cinderella’, seeking to complete a transition from unjust repression to triumphant reward. Slovakia hoped that the European Union would be a vehicle or a ‘fairy godmother’ that would transform it from a state of neglect into a stable prosperous liberal democracy. Did the EU live up to these expectations? The focus of this study is on Slovakia’s path to – and eventual membership of – the European Union. The purpose of this study involves exploring whether or not it was a good idea for Slovakia to enter the EU. The study may be useful with respect to studies on current candidate countries. What lessons can be learned from the experience of Slovakia?