ZAGREB, April 25, 2018 – At the end of a summit meeting of the Southeast Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) held in Slovenia’s resort Brdo Pri Kranju on Tuesday and attended also by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar did not rule out the possibility of blocking Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area if Zagreb doesn’t agree to implement an international arbitration ruling on the two countries’ border dispute.
Cerar’s statement was a response to Plenković’s statement that Slovenia, by announcing lawsuits against Croatia over the border issue and a dispute regarding the transferred savings of Croatian clients of the now defunct Slovenian bank Ljubljanska Banka, did not choose the right path and that moves such as a possible blockade of Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area were not good for the solution of those issues either.
Plenković said that Croatia would meet technical conditions to enter the Schengen area and that it should be in Slovenia’s interest for that to happen as soon as possible because it would make it easier for Slovenia, too, to control illegal migrations without a razor fence on the border with Croatia.
“It is critical for Slovenia to react to all these cases in the right way. In case of mediation or appropriate agreements regarding the arbitration with the help of the European Commission, a new process will start in terms of getting closer to a solution. However, if there are no appropriate reactions, Slovenia will have to take legal action in both cases,” Cerar said.
He said his government insisted on the position that declining to implement the arbitration ruling was a violation of the rule of law and that countries doing that cannot be part of the Schengen area.