Croatian Prime Minister wants no Brussels interference in dispute with Slovenia.
Just a day after the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker sent a letter to Croatian prime minister Zoran Milanović and his Slovenian counterpart Miro Cerar expressing satisfaction that the arbitral tribunal on the border issue between the two countries will continue its work after the appointment of two arbitrators, the Croatian government sent a sharp reply to Brussels, reports Vecernji List on October 2, 2015.
Government told the president of the European Commission that there was no legal basis for the involvement of the European Commission in this case and that the Commission should not be involved in this, or in any other of the numerous border disputes between EU member states. Solving border issues does not fall under the jurisdiction of the European Commission and the Commission should behave according to this.
Juncker was reminded by the government that Croatia’s position is that the entire legal process has been contaminated by intentional, unlawful, immoral and unethical behaviour of one of the parties, Slovenia. It is noted that Slovenia has tacitly acknowledged such behaviour – Slovenian representative Simona Drenik and Slovenian arbitrator Jernej Sekolec have withdrawn from the arbitration and did not even try to refute the charges. The letter from Zagreb states that the actions of the Slovenian side may even constitute criminal offenses.
Croatian parliament unanimously adopted the decision to withdraw from the arbitration agreement, and the Croatian side immediately offered to Slovenia to find an alternative solution, but the offer was overturned.
The letter which has caused the reaction of the Croatian side was co-signed by the president of the European Commission Juncker and Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans. It stated that the EC supported the arbitral tribunal and felt that the process itself had mechanisms needed for resolving the problems and that both sides should support the decision of the Court. Brussels said that was in the interest of both parties and in the interest of the smooth application of EU law.
Despite Croatia having withdrawn from the arbitration proceedings and the agreement, the court is continuing with its work, at least for now. The president of the Court of Arbitration Gilbert Guillaume appointed Norwegian Rolf Einar Fife as the “Slovenian” and Swiss Nicolas Michel as the “Croatian” arbitrator.