Slovenian Website Releases Non-Paper Proposing Changes to W Balkan Borders

By , 15 Apr 2021, 12:20 PM Politics
Slovenian Website Releases Non-Paper Proposing Changes to W Balkan Borders Adapted from Peter Fitzgerald CC-by-SA-3.0 Unported

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STA, 15 April 2021 - The Slovenian online portal Necenzurirano has published a non-paper [ed. a discussion paper which is not to form part of formal business] proposing changes to borders in the Western Balkans that has been raising controversy in recent days. Its authorship remains unclear, however, information available to the portal suggests a part of the document has been written in Budapest.

Speculation about the non-paper was prompted earlier this week as the Bosnian portal alleged that Slovenian Prime Minister Janša Janez had handed an unofficial document to European Council President Charles Michel in February or March proposing "finalisation of the breakup of Yugoslavia" as a topic of the Slovenian presidency.

Janša responded by saying the last time he met Michel was in 2020 and that it would be thus difficult for him to hand anything to him. He added that Slovenia was "seriously looking for solutions for the region's development and the EU prospects of the Western Balkan countries".


The Foreign Ministry said the only non-paper on the Western Balkans Slovenia had signed on to was the one drawn up by Croatia late last year to call for Bosnia-Herzegovina to become an EU accession candidate as soon as it meets the criteria.

Repeating that at Wednesday's session of the Foreign Policy Committee, Foreign Minister Anže Logar also assured MPs there had been no change to Slovenia's strategy on the Western Balkans.

The European Commission has said it is not aware of the alleged non-paper and its position on the borders in the region is very clear that there is nothing to be changed.

The non-paper entitled Western Balkans - a Way Forward was released today by the portal Necenzurirano, which says Michel's office received the writing in February past official diplomatic post.

Since the non-paper has no heading or signature it is not clear who has written it, but sources have assured the portal it has not emerged at the Slovenian Foreign Ministry.

"Some information indicates that part of the content has been written in Budapest. Nevertheless, it is referred to in Brussels diplomatic circles as a 'Slovenian' non-paper as allegedly the Janša office has been involved in its mailing to various addresses," writes the portal.

The non-paper says the main issue in the region is the "unresolved issues of Serbs, Albanians and Croatians" in the wake of Yugoslavia's breakup.

"Based on the existing methods and rhythm of problem solving, it is difficult to imagine the European perspective of Serbia and Kosovo, and membership for Bosnia and Herzegovina is fully excluded," reads the non-paper.

It says Turkey has taken advantage of the situation to enhance its influence in Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia, and that except for Turkey and few local politicians who personally benefit from the chaotic situation no one is happy with the situation in the country.

As a solution the non-paper proposes a unification of Kosovo and Albania, while the Serbian part of Kosovo be granted a special status modelled on South Tyrol.

The non-paper also proposes joining most of Republika Srpska with Serbia, which would make Serbia willing to agree to Kosovo's joining Albania.

The "Croatian national issue" would be resolved by "joining the predominately Croatian cantons of Bosnia and Herzegovina with Croatia or by granting a special status to the Croatian part of Bosnia and Herzegovina", again applying the model of South Tyrol.

"Bosniaks will thus gain an independently functioning state and assume full responsibility for it," reads the non-paper, proposing for people to decide in a referendum between joining the EU or a non-EU future (Turkey).

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