Slovenian Leadership to Meet After EU’s Support in Dispute with Croatia

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The European Commission’s reaction was more positive for Slovenia than expected.

After yesterday’s statement by the European Commission that it expected Croatia and Slovenia to implement the arbitration decision, in which it is ready to assist, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar has convened a meeting of political leadership to ensure unity among all political factors in their positions with regards to the arbitration dispute, reports on 5 July 2017.

The closed meeting on the arbitrary decision on the border at sea and disputed parts of the land border between Croatia and Slovenia will bring together presidents of all political parties, the Speaker of Slovenian Parliament, and Slovenian President Borut Pahor.

Today, the Slovenian media say that yesterday’s response by the European Commission was more favourable than Slovenian political leaders had hoped for and that it has virtually confirmed that the 2009 arbitration agreement, as well as the final verdict of the arbitration tribunal, were part of the European acquis.

“We have gotten more than what we had hoped for, and that is a specific call for the verdict to be implemented, which is ideal for Slovenia. We have gained strong international support for the decision to be implemented,” said Dominika Švarc Pipan, an international law expert.  Brussels’ support is of particular importance in the event of incidents in the execution of the verdict, added Švarc.

Slovenian sources informally say that Prime Minister Miro Cerar wants to secure political support of all parties in the Parliament that Slovenia is satisfied with the arbitration decision and will implement it regardless of the current position of the Croatian government.

This was a contentious point in the last few days since part of the opposition argued that the decision was actually an “own goal” for Slovenia, since it did not get everything it expected, especially a territorial corridor to the open sea and the entire Bay of Piran.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec said on Tuesday, after the statement of the European Commission, that he hoped that the position of the Croatian government to refuse to accept the arbitration verdict would change and that Croatia would not be able to persist in its position.

At the today’s meeting, Prime Minister Cerar will also discuss his upcoming meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrei Plenković in Ljubljana next week.


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