ZAGREB, October 12, 2018 – After talks with Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec in Berlin on Friday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany was willing to contribute to the resolution of the Slovenian-Croatian dispute over the border and the border arbitration decision.
Speaking at a joint press conference, Merkel said Slovenia was doing a good job protecting the external Schengen border with Croatia from migration, and added that she and Šarec talked about the arbitration award which Slovenia considers to be the final solution to the border dispute with Croatia.
It is time that matter is resolved too, she said, adding that Germany was willing to make a “small contribution” to help both countries find a solution.
Asked by Slovenian reporters if the border arbitration award issue was a question of Croatia not honouring European law, as maintained by Slovenia, Merkel said this was not a matter she would like to discuss in public as it would not contribute to a solution, Slovenian media reported.
Slovenian President Borut Pahor said on Friday the issue of the border arbitration with Croatia was clear for Slovenia but that his country could not implement the arbitration award unilaterally. “For Slovenia, it is clear where the border is, but we can’t demarcate it unilaterally,” Pahor said at a meeting of the Atlantic Council NGO in Maribor.
“Unilateral implementation would mean the use of force, which we want to avoid in every way. In that sense, patience will be necessary which, in my opinion, can’t be unlimited,” Pahor said.
Commenting on Slovenia-Croatia relations, he said the disagreement on the border and the arbitration was the main problem and that it was unlikely that either country would change their current positions in the short term.
Slovenia insists on the implementation of the arbitration award, while Croatia rejects it, insisting Slovenia compromised the arbitration procedure and proposing bilateral talks.