Slovenia Calls on Croatia to Implement Arbitration Decision

Total Croatia News

No one really expects Croatia to change its mind anytime soon.

The Slovenian government called on Croatia to implement the arbitration tribunal’s verdict on the border dispute between the two countries, announced the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reports Jutarnji List on 4 July 2017.

Slovenia is committed to the decision to “do everything for the implementation of the verdict in accordance with the international law and the arbitration agreement between the two states from 2009,” announced Slovenia. Croatia is invited, “in accordance with international law and arbitration agreement,” to do everything necessary for the tribunal’s verdict to be implemented and to seek in “cooperation” the best way to implement it.

A panel composed of five arbitrators announced on Thursday that Slovenia should get three-quarters of the Bay of Piran, and a kind of a link between Slovenian sea and international waters across the Croatia’s territorial sea, in which a special regime for free sailing would be established. The verdict for which the Croatian government stated it would not have a legal effect also “settled” some of the controversial points of the land border.

After the announcement of the verdict, the Slovenian Prime Minister stated that Slovenia considered it binding for both sides, even though Slovenia’s expectations have not been fully met. Part of the Slovenian opposition is convinced that the implementation of the verdict would hurt the “integrity” of the Bay of Piran and the interests of Slovenia at sea, because they claim that Slovenia has always had territorial contact with the open sea and controlled the whole bay.

On Monday, Prime Minister Miro Cerar visited several towns along the Slovenian-Croatian border and presented the verdict to the local population. He said that his government would take measures in favour of people living in areas which the decision gave to Croatia. He also confirmed that he would meet with his Croatian counterpart Andrej Plenković in Ljubljana on 12 July.

Cerar met with residents of Brezovica and Metlika on Monday afternoon, who pointed out problems in the potential implementation of the arbitration verdict, because in some areas the land border would be difficult to apply as determined.

Cerar told residents that he would discuss everything, including their problems, with Plenković in Ljubljana. He expressed the conviction that, despite the current Croatian opposition to the implementation of the arbitration verdict, the two sides have to talk about it. Croatia insists that the arbitration decision is not valid and that a border agreement should be found in a new framework, while Cerar believes that the verdict is binding for both sides and that Croatia will also gradually accept it.

“I believe Slovenia and Croatia, both members of the European Union, cannot cease to respect the rule of law because the arbitration decision is a binding international act,” said Cerar, adding that he hoped Croatia would gradually understand it.


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