Pelješac Bridge Will Be Built Despite Bosnia’s Lawsuit Threat

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 10, 2018 – The European Union institutions which have approved and are co-financing the construction of Pelješac Bridge say the project will be realised as planned, regardless of Bosnian official Željko Komšić’s threats of a lawsuit against Croatia.

That’s a border issue over which we have no authority, but we have received all the information about it. The project has been approved and it is going ahead undisturbed, a person in the European Commission said on Wednesday on condition of anonymity.

Komšić, the newly elected Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), said on Monday BiH might sue Croatia at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg because Croatia “breached the Convention on the Law of the Sea by drawing the sea border.”

“Why is that being linked to Pelješac Bridge? Because you are using it as leverage. You won’t define the border at sea, you won’t even honour the Tuđman-Izetbegović agreement on the sea border. Because if you honoured that agreement, you know which sea that Pelješac Bridge would cross? BiH’s sea,” Komšić said.

The bridge between the Pelješac peninsula and the mainland would connect the south of Croatia and road traffic would bypass BiH’s short coastal stretch. The EU is financing the construction with 357 million euro via its cohesion policy. A part of the money for this, the EU’s biggest project in Croatia, has already been paid and construction began on July 30.

At the end of August, Brussels received BiH’s complaints. Croatia had informed Brussels about the non-ratified Tuđman-Izetbegović agreement and all the relevant maps. In January, in a letter to Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed the realisation of the project.

That position remains in force, nothing is changing. Besides, I don’t think BiH will file a lawsuit. Not even Slovenia, in its dispute with Croatia, has gone to the tribunal in Hamburg, the Commission source said.

Aside from Komšić, the lawsuit would have to be approved by the BiH Presidency’s two other members.

The construction of the bridge is supposed to be completed in 2023.


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