Slovenia Wants to Continue Border Arbitration Process with Croatia

By 14 February 2016

Back to the original border issue between Croatia and Slovenia.

Slovenian President Borut Pahor claims that arbitration is the only way for a peaceful solution to the border dispute with Croatia to be reached, and that the suspension of the arbitration procedure, which Croatia expects, would set back relations between the two countries. "As long as the arbiters are doing their job, we can be calm and expect an impartial decision. Arbitration is the only way to come to a peaceful resolution", said Pahor. He added that the border issue was therefore not a subject of conversations between Ljubljana and Zagreb, and explained that he was sceptical towards Croatian proposals for a bilateral agreement to be reached or for the dispute to be brought to another international judicial institution, reports Vecernji List on February 14, 2016.

Croatia believes that the arbitration procedure has been compromised due to the arbitration scandal involving former Slovenian arbiter Jernej Sekolec and former official of the Slovenian Foreign Ministry Simona Drenik, who used illicit contacts to influence the other arbiters. "I hope that the arbitral tribunal will decide that their mistakes do not prevent them from making a decision", said Pahor, adding that he could not even imagine what a different decision would mean. "That would be a severe blow to the Slovenian-Croatian relations and I do not know how quickly we could reach any other agreement", said Pahor.

"I do not think that it would be as easy as it is sometimes claimed", explained Pahor who signed the arbitration agreement in 2009 with the then Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor. "In order to come to that agreement, it took us two years of hard work, with a lot of stress", said Pahor who added that he considered the arbitration agreement as the crown of his prime ministerial career.

Former Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said on Saturday that last year's decision of Croatian Parliament to leave the arbitration process was binding for all Croatian governments and that it would be realistic for Slovenia to accept it, so that two governments can find a new solution. She believes that the two countries should bring the case to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.