Croatia’s MPs Criticize “Apparatchik” Jean-Claude Juncker

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President of the European Commission said that the Commission supports arbitration proceedings in border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia.

SDP, HDZ and MOST have requested an urgent break in this morning’s session of Parliament in order to comment on a statement made by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said that the European Commission supported the arbitration proceedings in the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia, which Croatia has abandoned, reports Večernji List on March 2, 2017.

“We want to comment on a statement given by Juncker to the Slovenian news agency STA prior to his official visit to Slovenia. Juncker said that he supported the arbitration agreement between Croatia and Slovenia. This is the agreement from which Croatia has withdrawn due to a serious breach. During the arbitration process, there was communication between a Slovenian representative and an arbitrator. That made the whole proceedings illegal and contaminated”, said Joško Klisović (SDP) who wondered what kind of message was the European Commission sending to those who wanted to resolve issues through arbitration?

“What is that message? Does the European Commission want to say that the end justifies the means? Is it calling on Machiavelli? I hope not. Did the foreign minister protect Croatian interests? He is busy turning Croatia into the most conservative country in Europe. The minister is explaining what the abortion and marriage are, instead of commenting on the views of the European Commission about arbitration proceedings. The government did not comment on this point”, said Klisović.

Former Foreign Minister Miro Kovač (HDZ) pointed out that the arbitration agreement was signed in 2009 by Croatia and Slovenia. “The agreement was signed by then prime ministers Jadranka Kosor and Borut Pahor. The European Commission is not a signatory of the document. The process started in 2010, and in 2015 we found out that our Slovenian friends wanted to cheat. At the time, HDZ wanted to discuss it in Parliament and we proposed the termination of the agreement. The then government accepted the consensus opinion and adopted such decision. That was the end of the process for Croatia, we are no longer interested, whatever Juncker speaks about”, said Kovač, adding that the opinion of the European Commission on this issue was not relevant.

“Parliament adopted a decision on the termination of the arbitration agreement. We have a consensus, we have our own government and diplomacy, and they will work on it and explain it all. Whatever someone says in Brussels, it is not our concern. The European Commission may have an opinion, but it is not relevant”, said Kovač.

Miro Bulj (MOST) said that Juncker’s statement was scandalous. “He forgets that this arbitration process has been deeply compromised. How would this apparatchik behave if it were an issue concerning Luxembourg”, asked Bulj.


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