Government Denies Mistakes in Border Dispute Arbitration with Slovenia

Total Croatia News

Some opposition MPs claim that the government had not done everything necessary to leave the arbitration proceedings.

Croatia has done all that is required to leave the border dispute arbitration process with Slovenia. On Saturday, a senior official of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said that the UN mediation mechanism does not have to be launched, reports on June 3, 2017.

Some SDP MPs argue that the government has not formally broken the border arbitration proceedings with Slovenia and has therefore brought Croatia into a weak legal position, Croatian media reported today.

“Croatia has done all that needs to be done to leave the arbitration process. It is not true that the government has not taken all necessary steps in implementing the decision made by the Parliament,” said Andreja Metelko-Zgombić, the chief legal advisor at the Ministry. “If an arbitration decision is eventually made, Croatia will not accept it and will not consider it to be binding. That is what all Croatian governments since 2015 have always clearly stated,” she said.

Metelko-Zgombić explained that Croatia first submitted a notice to Slovenia, stating that the conditions for the termination of the Arbitration Agreement had been met since the Slovenian side had seriously violated its terms. Croatia then informed the Arbitration Tribunal that it had left the proceedings and that the Tribunal no longer had the power to decide whether or not the arbitration agreement had been terminated since the formal notification sent to Slovenia initiated the mechanism provided by the Vienna Convention.

The UN Secretary-General, who is the depositary of the Arbitration Agreement, has also been informed about it. After Slovenia objected to the Croatian notification, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on the law of international agreements, the states should select one of the means for peaceful settlement of disputes, said Metelko-Zgombić.

“All the Croatian governments have persistently called on the Slovenian side to start a dialogue, but Slovenia has rejected that proposal. What the Vienna Convention additionally envisions is a mediation mechanism under the aegis of the UN, but this arrangement is not obligatory, and as such, it would not come to a binding resolution of the dispute because it can end only with non-mandatory recommendations at best,” she explained.

On Saturday, the media reported that some SDP MPs had claimed that the Arbitration Agreement was formally still in force since the former government of Tihomir Orešković and the current government of Andrej Plenković had not initiated the process of mediation with the UN Secretary-General, which is a mistake that could allegedly cost Croatia dearly. SDP has accused former Foreign Minister Miro Kovač and current Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stiro for not taking any action for the purpose of the termination of the agreement.

In late July 2015, the Parliament adopted a decision to withdraw from the arbitration agreement signed by the two countries in 2009 and proposed to Slovenia to start negotiations on an alternative dispute resolution. Despite this, in April of this year, the Arbitration Tribunal in The Hague announced that the arbitration process had been completed, and that the decision on the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia would be published in the next few months.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment