Slovenia Criticises EC Decision on Croatia’s Schengen Preparedness

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 23, 2019 – Slovenian Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said on Tuesday the European Commission’s decision that Croatia met the technical conditions to join the Schengen Area was political, and insisted that Croatia implement the arbitration ruling on its border dispute with Slovenia.

“We regret that the European Commission decided on such an important matter, the assessment of Croatia’s preparedness to join Schengen, just before the end of its term and that it adopted a political decision,” Šarec said, according to a press release from his office.

“We expect Croatia to meet all the conditions for joining Schengen, technical and legal ones, including respect for the rule of law,” he said, alluding to what Slovenian authorities consider respect for the rule of law, including the implementation of the border arbitration ruling.

Croatia does not recognise the ruling, maintaining that Slovenia irrevocably compromised the arbitration procedure.

Croatian members of the European Parliament Tonino Picula and Karlo Ressler on Tuesday welcomed the European Commission’s green light for Croatia to join Schengen, while Slovenian MEP Tanja Fajon said it was an “unacceptable decision” by the outgoing Juncker Commission.

“That’s good news for the Schengen Area which found itself over the past seven, eight years under attack of various circumstances which have weakened its purpose, which is to ensure free movement for European citizens and encourage more European cooperation and commitment to the European project,” Picula (Social Democratic Party) told Croatian reporters in Strasbourg.

“The Commission has shown on Croatia’s example that Schengen is one of the biggest European integration achievements,” he said. He does not believe the political decision on Croatia’s Schengen accession will be made soon and notes that “Croatia will have to keep working.”

Fajon was disappointed by the Commission’s decision. “We would very much like to see Croatia join Schengen, but only after it has met all the conditions. It seems that’s not the reality. Reports by nongovernmental organisations reveal what happens on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina,” she told Croatian and Slovenian reporters.

“This is an unacceptable decision by (Commission President) Jean-Claude Juncker,” she added.

More news about relations between Croatia and Slovenia can be found in the Politics section.


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