Juncker: “Arbitration Judgement Must Be Respected”

Total Croatia News

The President of the European Commission shows support for Slovenia’s position.

The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said that the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia was not only a bilateral issue but that it affected the entire European Union and that it was a much more important issue than many in Slovenia and Croatia think, reports Index.hr on January 9, 2018.

“This is not just a bilateral issue, but a problem that affects the whole EU, and in this spirit, the Commission has proposed mediation between the two sides. This is a much more important issue than many people in Slovenia and Croatia think,” said Juncker before a meeting with Slovenian President Borut Pahor, who visited Brussels.

Juncker pointed out that the mediation proposal “was not well-received.” He said that the unresolved border issue between Croatia and Slovenia affected the prospects of other Western Balkan countries who aim to become EU members.

Slovenian President Pahor stated that the Croatian statements about the unresolved border dispute were not correct. “The border issue has been resolved by the arbitral judgement. We’re talking about the implementation of a signed agreement, which is part of the agreement on Croatia’s accession to the European Union,” he said.

The EU devoted a lot of attention to this case, which is also confirmed by Juncker’s announcement that future members will not be accepted until they resolve their border issues. “The outstanding border issues between Slovenia and Croatia affect the perspective of Balkan countries when it comes to EU membership,” said Juncker, according to the Slovenian media.

Juncker also stressed that the arbitral judgement must be implemented, regardless of the problems. “There is no war between the two countries,” Juncker said, adding that both sides must respect the judgement. “We have the arbitral judgement, we have to respect it,” he said.

“The European Commission is trying to mediate between the two positions on the basis of the judgement. The arbitration agreement is part of the agreement on Croatia’s accession to the European Union,” Juncker said, adding that the Commission “did not want incidents” between the two countries. “We’re now in a period when we have to see how we can make a move towards arbitration implementation and I don’t want the two countries to enter into a conflict.”

He added that the Croatian-Slovenian border dispute was not of interest to anyone in Europe and that no one knows what it involves. For one country, this is a bilateral issue, and for the other it is a European issue but, in the substantive sense, “the differences are minimal,” the EC president said. “This isn’t a big problem,” Juncker added.

“Croatia has become a member of the EU owing to the arbitration agreement, and it consists of two parts. In the first part, Slovenia has pledged to remove the blockade and help Croatia become a member of the EU. We have implemented this part of the agreement, without which Croatia would not have become a member of the EU. In the second part, Croatia has pledged to respect the arbitration decision on the land and sea border, and Slovenia is rightfully expecting Croatia to keep these commitments,” Slovenian President Pahor said.

The Slovenian President called on “Croatian friends to send Ljubljana and Brussels a message, officially or unofficially, that they will respect the arbitration judgement.”

Translated from Index.hr.


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