Slovenian and Croatian Prime Ministers Meet in Ljubljana

Total Croatia News

The main topic was the arbitration decision in the border dispute between the two countries.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar met on Wednesday afternoon in Ljubljana. This was their first meeting after the announcement of the arbitration decision which Slovenia considers binding, while Croatia refuses to accept it, reports on 12 July 2017.

A meeting between the two prime ministers was followed by a wider meeting of the two delegations, after which prime ministers Plenković and Cerar held a joint press conference.

“The primary challenge for both states is how to establish trust and strengthen it. The arbitration decision offers us a chance to make a step forward,” said Cerar.

Plenković thanked Cerar for his hospitality and stressed that Croatia and Slovenia were two neighbouring countries that needed to cooperate. “It is important to build trust and resolve open issues. Today, we have discussed open issues between the two nations. The position of Slovenia about the implementation of the arbitration decision is clear, just like ours. For us, the process has been compromised and corrupted by the Slovenian side. This arbitration verdict is not binding for us, and we have no intention to implement it. But, we are ready to talk about political, diplomatic, technical issues to resolve this problem. Clearly, we do not seek any unilateral moves. Prime Minister Cerar will visit Zagreb in September, and then we will try to analyse all the open issues,” said Plenković.

“At this first meeting, we have defined the positions very precisely. We did not enter into the merits of the case since it is important for us to discuss in an open dialogue everything which is connected with the borders and find an acceptable solution that would be a sign of political maturity. How similar will the compromise be to solutions from the past, I would not prejudge it,” said Plenković.

“The discussion was friendly and constructive, went in the direction of seeking answers, but the positions remained the same. Plenković did not want to discuss the implementation of the decision. This is not the issue of relations between the two states, but the issue of the rule of law and respect for rights that is a fundamental value that is recognised by the EU. I think that both countries as EU members must follow and respect decisions of the international law. We will be looking for points of similarities, but for us, it is clear that we want to implement the arbitration decision. We both believe that we can solve this question ourselves,” said Cerar, adding that, if it turns out that there is no possibility of an agreement, he will turn to the European Commission.

“Slovenia will not cause any tensions with regards to the implementation of the arbitration decision,” said Cerar when asked whether Slovenia would create problems with Croatia’s entry into the Schengen Area. “It is important that we have a dialogue. The Slovenian government will continue to make its views clear,” Cerar said.

Cerar is convinced that Croatia will gradually accept the arbitration decision, while Plenković believes there is no international mechanism which could force Croatia to enforce a ruling in a legal process to which it is no longer a party.


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment