Slovenia Submits Proposal to Sue Croatia over Border Dispute

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 16, 2018 – The European Commission confirmed on Friday receipt of a letter from the Slovenian government proposing the filing of a lawsuit against Croatia for its non-compliance with an international arbitration ruling on the Croatian-Slovenian border dispute.

EC spokesman Alexander Winterstein confirmed that the EC had received the letter and that it would study it. This is a legal dispute between member states and now the procedure envisaged by Article 259 of the Treaty of Lisbon starts, Winterstein said, adding that the EC was ready to mediate in the dispute as it had done in similar previous disputes.

Slovenia plans to sue Croatia in line with Article 259 due to its non-compliance with the border arbitration ruling.

The EC now has three months to respond to Slovenia’s proposal. If it accepts it, it takes over the lawsuit. If the EC does not accept the proposal or does not respond to it, the member state which plans to file the lawsuit may do so before the Court of Justice of the EU. In formulating its position, the EC may call on the two sides to state their positions on the subject of the dispute.

Lawsuits between EU member states are very rare and of the six such cases launched so far, only one was successful. Only France managed to win a case against Great Britain over the conduct of British authorities towards French fishermen. As for the other five cases, three were dismissed, in one the parties found a compromise, and in one the plaintiff dropped the case.

Asked by Slovenian reporters why the EC treated a legal dispute as a political one and whether the reason for that was the fact that EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Croatian PM Andrej Plenković belonged to the same political group, Winterstein said that there was no room for criticism and that Juncker’s position on the matter had been clear, consistent and well-known.

EU member states may sue one another before the Court of Justice of the EU but they must do so consensually, its president Koen Lenaerts said two months ago. In an interview with the Ljubljana-based paper Dnevnik of December 30, the president of the Luxembourg-based court said that such lawsuits were rare. He would not comment on the subject of the dispute between Slovenia and Croatia.


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