Janša Interviewed on Croatian Border Dispute, European People’s Party

By , 19 Mar 2019, 10:17 AM Politics
Janez Janša Janez Janša From Mr Janša's Facebook, September 2018

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STA, 17 March 2019 - Opposition Democrats (SDS) president Janez Janša has told the Croatian newspaper Jutarnji list that the Slovenia-Croatia border arbitration decision is legally binding but that it still allows for a bilateral agreement on a section of the border or its entirety. He also argued Hungary's Victor Orban "has a historically correct stance on migration".


Janša, whose SDS won the 2018 general election but was not able to form a government, said that the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia, two newly created states, is "one of the most specific situations in history".

He argued that "according to all realistic assessments", the international arbitration tribunal's June 2017 decision on the border "is in Croatia's favour and to the detriment of Slovenia".

"Still, Croatia is rejecting it and Slovenia is insisting on it," Janša said.

He said the SDS and "almost half of Slovenian voters" had rejected the arbitration agreement, "because we predicted things would evolve the way they did".

"I believe two wise governments could find a relatively elegant way out of this situation in the future," the former prime minister added.

Janša feels that some manoeuvring space exists that would allow Croatia to get a bilateral agreement and Slovenia a border that would make more sense than the one determined in arbitration.

On Slovenian politics and Europe

Commenting on the political situation in Slovenia, he said the minority government was fully dependent on "the extremist Left" and labelled the revised 2019 budget too wasteful.

As for the EU, he urged stabilisation and a greater voice for small member states like Croatia and Slovenia.

Janša expressed support to European People's Party (EPP) Manfred Weber as the EPP's spitzenkandidat, while arguing he preferred the EU development vision of Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) head Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer to that of "socialist and liberal" French President Emmanuel Macron.

Janša is convinced that the label of populism is being abused due to large coalitions at the German and European level that are looking "for some kind of third enemies", while adding nationalism can also present a problem.

Moreover, Janša believes that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who he feels should not be interfering in party politics, has started a conflict with Hungarian PM Viktor Orban within the EPP.

He highlighted the strong support for Fidesz in Hungary and argued that Orban "has a historically correct stance on migration".

As for a potential Fidesz exclusion from the EPP, Janša compared the gay rights efforts of EPP members from the north of Europe to Fidesz's policies. While the SDS is opposing LGBT adoption, it is not demanding that parties supporting it should be excluded from the EPP.

The EPP needs both the Christian socialists from Luxembourg and Hungary's Fidesz, since this is the only way for it to be strong and influential, Janša added, saying most serious EPP members expected a compromise solution and a fully preserved EPP.

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