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Press Release

22.12.18

Implementation of arbitral award on border with Croatia: Slovenia knows that its position is correct and will stand firm

One year after the beginning of the implementation of the arbitral award, the Slovenian government’s foreign policy position with regard to Croatia and to the implementation of the arbitral award remains unchanged. Pursuant to Article 7 of the Arbitration Agreement, the award of the Arbitral Tribunal (29 June 2017) is binding on both countries and constitutes a definitive settlement of the border dispute.

 

Slovenia recently once again invited Croatia to establish joint competent bodies which would be in charge of the implementation of the arbitral ruling on the border, as they would be able to slightly adjust the course of the land border to meet the needs of the local population. They would also be able to establish a demarcation commission which would plan and carry out the marking of the border in the field.

 

Slovenia will continue to invite Croatia to initiate a dialogue and to implement the arbitral award, as we believe that responsibility will eventually win the day on the Croatian side, and they will realise that the arbitral award has to be implemented. The importance of adhering to the arbitral award is also becoming increasingly clear to the international community. Slovenia knows that its position is correct and will stand behind it.

 

Slovenia is implementing the arbitral award unilaterally, to the extent that this is possible without the cooperation of Croatia, and is enforcing the laws that were adopted in connection with the implementation. We will continue in the same direction in the future.  

 

Even at the time of the promulgation of the arbitral award, the government was aware that its implementation would require particular care, especially for the people living along the border who are directly impacted by the ruling. 

 

This was also the primary objective of the Act Regulating Certain Issues regarding the Final Award of the Arbitral Tribunal (ZUVRAS), in which the government created a special budgetary fund to protect the rights of Slovenian citizens living in the area. 

 

Financial assistance for the purchase of new real estate:

By 20 December 2018, the Ministry of Public Administration had received a total of 38 applications for financial assistance in the selection of a residence, relating to 98 persons and amounting to EUR 2,793,500.00, in the municipalities of Ljutomer (7), Metlika (7), and Piran (24). Applications have been filed by 18 property owners and 20 property users.

Funds in the current budget for 2018 have been allocated for this purpose in the amount of EUR 2,002,450.00.

Of the decisions issued, 30 are final, and payments have been issued on the basis of 26 decisions. The total amount paid out amounts to EUR 1,940,350.00. 

A total of 34 decisions have been issued, and a further four applications await decision. 

 

Farming and fishing rights:

The National Farm Land and Forest Fund has received 32 applications for land in the municipality of Lendava with a total area of slightly more than 100 ha. The costs of providing the land for the beneficiaries have been estimated at EUR 200,000. 

An application from the Municipality of Metlika for the relocation of a farm was approved. The Republic of Slovenia has approved the reimbursement of funds to the municipality amounting to EUR 13,908. 

Two applications were filed for compensation for material damage to fishing equipment and a fishing boat. One application was rejected, as it was not possible to prove that the damage was caused by a foreign vessel. The other application was approved in the amount of EUR 816. 

The payment of compensation due to the obstruction of commercial fishing was carried out in two phases in 2018 (for the first and second halves). In the first half, 65 applications were submitted, of which 9 did not meet the legally prescribed conditions (and were thus refused). The remaining 56 applicants met the legally prescribed conditions and were therefore entitled to compensation due to loss of revenues in the first half-year. The total value of the compensation in the first phase amounted to EUR 87,750.02. In the second phase, three applications did not meet the legally prescribed conditions, while 62 applications were approved. The total value of the compensation in the second phase amounts to EUR 95,500.02. A further two phases of payments of compensation for obstruction of commercial fishing will be carried out in 2019. 

Procedures have been put in place for providing legal assistance to fishermen. According to the available data, more than 220 objections have been lodged against fines levied by the Croatian police and inspectorates, while new fines continue to be assessed. This year’s budget will include payments of EUR 48,014.76 for legal assistance to fishermen, while it is impossible to estimate the level of such costs in the future. According to the available data, the current level of fines and procedural costs is in excess of EUR 232,000.

 

Reimbursement of excise duties:

On the basis of data from the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, as at 30 November 2018, 29 applications had been received for compensation due to the reduced level of reimbursement of excise duties, all of which have been processed, with 28 applications being approved and one being refused. The total amount of compensation approved to date amounts to EUR 27,403.12. Requests for one-time compensation due to the reduced level of reimbursement of excise duties may be filed only until the end of 2018.

 

Rebuilding of roads:

The Municipality of Metlika submitted an initiative for the concluding of an agreement on the joint funding of the municipal roads that lead to the villages of Brezovica and Kamenica, and which partly run along territory which is part of Croatia pursuant to the arbitral award. Procedures for concluding an agreement are underway.


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