Slovenia Ready to Sue Croatia?

By 26 September 2017

Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec threatened Croatia with a lawsuit before the European Court in Luxembourg.

Leaders of the three ruling coalition parties in Slovenia agreed at a meeting in Ljubljana that Slovenia would speed up the adoption of the law to enforce the border arbitration decision and begin with implementing its sovereignty in the Bay of Piran. They are also considering filing a lawsuit against Croatia, reports tportal.hr on September 26, 2017.

“Slovenia is pushing for implementation, and in the next few weeks I will prepare information for the government on legal options which we could use, given that Croatia does not respect the arbitration tribunal’s decision,” Erjavec told reporters after the closed meeting. “We are talking about the possibility of lawsuits, for example, at the EU Court in Luxembourg,” added the head of Slovenian diplomacy.

While Zagreb does not consider the arbitrators’ decision as binding due to Slovenia’s actions which contaminated the legal process and demands that the open issues should be resolved bilaterally, Ljubljana claims that the verdict has become a part of the European law and that Croatia as an EU member must respect it.

Leaders of the ruling coalition concluded that it was necessary to speed up the process of bringing legislation to the Parliament which would adjust the situation at the border in accordance with the arbitrators’ verdict.

The laws will be drafted by the Interior Ministry and will be “tailored to the border as determined by the arbitration decision,” said Erjavec, who is also president of the Democratic Party of Retirees, the second most powerful party in the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Cerar’s Party of Modern Centre. Erjavec and Dejan Židan, the Agriculture Minister and leader of the third member of the ruling coalition, are also Deputy Prime Minister and at the meeting they supported Prime Minister Miro Cerar's decision not to go to Zagreb for a meeting with Croatian Prime Minister Andrei Plenković due to his speech at the UN last week, in which he accused Slovenia of not complying with international law. “Dialogue with Croatia will be possible when Croatian politicians decide they are ready to talk about implementation. Prior to that, the dialogue would make no sense,” Erjavec said.

Prime Minister Cerar did not make a statement after the meeting, but according to Erjavec, he said that the Slovenian police should intensify activities in the disputed Bay of Piran, which the arbitrators have mostly given to Slovenia.

In addition to Plenković's speech, the Slovenian minister said another provocation was Croatia’s promotional material presented at the entrance of the hall where the Croatian delegation organised a reception in New York, in which the Bay of Piran was shown as if the arbitration decision did not exist. “The map in a tourist brochure about Croatia at the entrance to the hall showed the border in the middle of the bay, which I understood as a provocation,” Erjavec said.

Translated from tportal.hr.