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Slovenia Weekly

A decision for history

23.06.2017

The Permanent Court of Arbitration. Photo: STA
The Arbitral Tribunal announced on Monday that its decision in the case of the Slovenian–Croatian border issue would be known on 29 June. This means that the land and maritime border, which Slovenia and Croatia have been unable to resolve ever since the creation of the two states, will be determined next Thursday.

After numerous unsuccessful attempts to resolve the border dispute, Slovenia and Croatia agreed, following the mediation of the European Commission, to settle the issue through arbitration. In November 2009 an agreement was signed in Stockholm, witnessed by the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, under which the two countries established the Arbitral Tribunal and mandated it to determine the course of the maritime and land boundary between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia, Slovenia's junction to the high sea and the regime for the use of the relevant maritime areas.

Slovenia will abide by the decision of the Arbitral Tribunal, and is prepared to implement it. In response, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar expressed the expectation that neighbouring Croatia will act similarly.

The Tribunal's decision is final. A six-month deadline has been set for its implementation, which is sufficient time for us to navigate its fulfilment calmly and in dialogue with the neighbouring country.

The arbitration procedure will also serve as a model for the peaceful resolution of disputes in the Western Balkans. At a time when the EU and the world are following events in the region closely, the news of an agreement between Slovenia and Croatia would have a positive effect on stability and the settling of relations there.

This important step forwards by the two countries, and thus the region as a whole, is also in the interest of the European Union, which was created precisely for the purpose of establishing long-term, peaceful relations between nations based on the rule of law and respect for the decisions of courts and tribunals.


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