PM Plenković and Angela Merkel Discuss Border Dispute with Slovenia

By 29 September 2017

They talked about Croatia’s border arbitration dispute with Slovenia and other topics.

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a summit on the digital future of Europe in Estonia. Plenković and Merkel spoke primarily about the border arbitration dispute which Croatia has with Slovenia. Angela Merkel also met separately with Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar, reports Jutarnji List on September 29, 2017.

Plenković told reporters afterwards that he presented to the German Chancellor the well-known Croatian position on the issue. Croatia claims that the border dispute is a bilateral issue, while Slovenia wants to implement the recent arbitration decision. Croatia left the arbitration proceedings two years ago because Slovenia had compromised the impartiality of arbitrators.

“I expect an understanding for our position because the arbitration decision, even if there were no problems, cannot be carried out without the cooperation of both sides. Therefore, what will happen is the only thing which is possible, and that is a civilised dialogue between Croatia and Slovenia. We are advocating for this position without blackmails, without blockades and threats. We are not the ones who compromised the arbitration process. That is the main point and the reason why I will insist on this position. I will protect Croatian interests in all aspects,” said Plenković.

The Prime Minister said that he explained the position to Chancellor Merkel very clearly and “asked her and other stakeholders in the EU to understand that this is a matter which is primarily governed by the international law and should be resolved through a dialogue between the two neighbouring countries.” He added that he did not want any unilateral moves from any side and that Croatia was not undertaking any such moves.

“We are ready to address this issue which, realistically speaking, is not something about which drama exists in a wider European context,” said the Croatian Prime Minister.

He added that he had also briefly met with Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar and that he would also talk with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the president of the European Council Donald Tusk, and the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

The European leaders are in Tallinn to discuss the digital future of Europe, as well as a series of challenges facing the European Union, which after Brexit is looking for a new model for the better functioning of the Union.

Translated from Jutarnji List.