December 17, 2017
Slovenian PM Miro Cerar met Croatian PM Andrej Plenković in Brussels last week, and the two agreed on Cerar’s visit to Zagreb, which will take place this Tuesday.
Cerar expects the main topic of Tuesday’s discussions to be the issue of the border between the two countries, but remains a “realist” with regards to the possibility of reaching common ground that would lead to an agreement on implementation of the tribunal ruling six months ago. Cerar added that the promise of his hosts that the subject of the border will be the main topic of discussion in the meeting was for him a sufficient incentive to travel to Zagreb.
Maritime part of the border dispute
Plenković responded to media questions in a similarly diplomatic fashion, emphasizing the importance of the dialogue and form over the content. He reiterated the Croatian position on the matter, which is that the starting point for any border discussions is the border situation from June 25, 1991.
The Slovenian position, on the other hand, is that, after December 29, when the six-month deadline given to both countries to prepare everything necessary for the smooth implementation of the tribunal ruling ends, Croatia will be in violation of European and international law.
Croatia rejects the tribunal ruling and claims to have withdrawn from the arbitration process in 2015 due to a procedural violation, when it was discovered in an eavesdropping affair that that contact had been made between a Slovenian official and a member of the tribunal committee. Slovenia admitted the wrongdoing, but insists on the binding nature of the tribunal’s decision.