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SFRY succession

Under the auspices of the international community, five countries (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – today Serbia) signed the Agreement on succession issues by which it was conclusively confirmed that five sovereign equal successor states were formed upon the dissolution of the former SFRY. The Republic of Slovenia ratified the Agreement in 2002 and it entered into force on 2 June 2004 upon being ratified by the last successor state.  

  

The main objective of the Agreement is to settle mutual rights and obligations between the five successor states regarding the succession after the former common state, in accordance with the rules of international law.  More>> (937 KB)

      

The Agreement on succession issues is the only valid international instrument that was ratified by all successor states to the former SFRY and represents a firm basis for defining mutual rights and obligations as regards the succession.


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Stamp issued by the Swiss Post after the referendum on the independence of the Jura in 1978

Stamp issued by the Swiss Post after the referendum on the independence of the Jura in 1978

Slovenija and the Jura

After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the area of the Jura, mostly French-speaking and Catholic, became a part of the German-speaking and Protestant Bern. After multiple referendums, the new canton split from the Canton of Bern and this split initiated a difficult succession process. The bases for the issues of succession in Slovenia and the Jura are different, but the Slovenian succession is connected to the dissolution of the former state, while the Jura seceded from the former joint canton.


Did you know that the issue of succession is what the youngest Swiss canton and Slovenia have in common?





The effective implementation of the Agreement on succession issues is overseen by the Standing Joint Committee of senior representatives. In January 2014, dr. Ana Polak Petrič was appointed High Representative of the Republic of Slovenia for succession; her primary role is to coordinate, formulate and represent the positions of the Republic of Slovenia in this field. The most recent meeting of the Standing Joint Committee of the successor states was held on 11 and 12 November 2015. The Succession Fund of the Republic of Slovenia operates in the Republic of Slovenia, while the Minister of finance heads the Coordination Committee for Succession Issues that shapes the strategy of Slovenia’s activities in this field.


At the session, on 11 February 2016, the government discussed the 2015 report of Slovenia's High Representative for Succession Issues.  More>> (34 KB)


Content


Movable and immovable property

Nikolaj Omersa: A View through a Window in Piran, 1960-1970.

Under the Agreement, Slovenia is entitled to 14% of the property recorded in Annex B to the Agreement as diplomatic and consular properties (DCP) of the former SFRY. In the process of dividing up assets, Slovenia was allocated just over two thirds of the buildings pertaining to it in terms of the DCP quotas under the Agreement. Slovenia took over all 10 properties that have to date been allocated to it: in Washington, Klagenfurt, Milan, Rome, Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Rabat, Bamako and two in Dar es Salaam. Slovenia is already using some of these properties for DCP needs.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also took into its collection more than 220 works of art by Slovenian artists that adorned DCP buildings of the former SFRY. The selected artworks were displayed from May to November 2015 in the exhibition "Return of Ambassadors of Art"  in the National Gallery in Ljubljana.

       


Diplomatic and consular properties

Embassy in Washington, D.C.

As to the division of diplomatic and consular properties (DCP) of the former SFRY, Slovenia is entitled to 14% of properties listed in the Agreement. So far, Slovenia has been handed over the embassy in Washington, consulate generals in Klagenfurt and Milan and the residence in Rome. Slovenia is entitled to another six properties under the 2012 division agreement (a villa in Brasilia, a consulate general in Sao Paulo, the embassy in Rabat, the embassy and the residence in Dar es Salaam and the residence in Mali), but has not taken them over yet as the successor states have not yet agreed on a handover timeline. In recent years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also obtained approximately 200 pieces of art by Slovenian artists. 

 

From May to October 2015, the National Gallery in Ljubljana hosted an exhibition organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Foregin Affairs titled Return of Ambassadors of Art . The exhibition featuring 68 selected works by 34 Slovenian artists which had once decorated the walls of diplomatic missions and consular posts of the former SFRY marked the culmination of many years of efforts to achieve the restitution of part of Slovenia's cultural heritage. 

   


building of the former SFRY embassy, Bamako, Mali; Slovenia took it over in 2016

building of the former SFRY embassy, Brasilia, Brazil; Slovenia took it over in 2016

building of the former SFRY consulate, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Slovenia took it over in 2016


building of the former SFRY ambassador’s residence, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Slovenia took it over in 2016

building of the former SFRY consulate, Milan, Italy; Slovenia took it over in 2011

building of the former SFRY embassy, Rabat, Morocco; Slovenia took it over in 2016


building of the former SFRY ambassador’s residence, Rome, Italy; Slovenia took it over in 2013

building of the former SFRY consulate, Klagenfurt, Austria; Slovenia took it over in 2011 Today: Consulate General of the Republic of Slovenia

building of the former SFRY embassy, Washington DC, USA; Slovenia took it over in 2001/2002 Today: Embassy and residence of the Republic of Slovenia


Financial assets and liabilities

This Annex covers the issues of financial assets and liabilities of the former SFRY. Slovenia is entitled to 16% of the available financial assets abroad. The division of monetary gold and deposits of the National Bank of Yugoslavia in commercial banks abroad has largely been settled. What remains open is the issue of guarantees for the so-called old foreign currency deposits, the division of foreign currency assets deposited abroad with mixed capital by the National Bank of Yugoslavia, and the SFRY's clearing debt to international organisations, including the UN.

    

Due to the failure of inter-state negotiations as a result of the opposition of certain successor states, individual savers whose deposits had not been repaid in light of the diverging views and legislation of the successors initiated numerous court proceedings. In 2014, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favour of the savings deposit holders. Nevertheless, the issue of a just distribution of this debt of the former SFRY among the successor states remains unresolved.


Triglav patrol boat

Triglav patrol boat.

Primarily used for military tasks – i.e. the defence of the Slovenian waters and coastline, and the protection of the sea and of waterways within NATO – the Triglav is also tasked with search and rescue missions.

 

In a five-month international operation organised by the EU to target the trafficking of people in the Mediterranean, the Triglav covered 12,000 nautical miles. During 58 days of active operation, the Slovenian Armed Forces crew performed nine rescue operations saving 1,075 people. 

   


Archives

Pečati.

The Agreement regulates in detail the issue of the division, copying of and access to the archives of the former SFRY. It envisages free and unimpeded access by the representatives of successor states with a material interest to the state archives of the SFRY. Access to SFRY archives in Belgrade (the Archive of Yugoslavia and the Diplomatic Archive of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is improving, but it is still difficult to access material of the former intelligence services and the National Bank of Yugoslavia archive. Each year, Slovenian archivists conduct several weeks of documenting in the SFRY archives. 

 

In December 2016 Slovenia took over from Serbia 43 international agreements whose depositary was the former SFRY and which relate exclusively to the territory of the Republic of Slovenia. This represented the first restitution of SFRY state archives to any successor state. The two countries also agreed that Slovenia should soon take over the next tranche of international agreements. It is especially important for Slovenia to obtain the originals of the Osimo Agreements, regarding which no agreement has yet been reached with Croatia, as required by the Agreement. On the initiative of Slovenia, talks began in 2014 over digitalisation of the common SFRY archives. In 2016 a pilot project was started, involving the digitalisation of one of the smaller sets of common material. 

   


Pensions

All successor states have reached bilateral agreements on social security and settled the issue of pensions. 

     


Other rights, legal interests and financial liabilities

No major open issues exist with regard to this Annex. By letter of October 2010, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) urges successor states to give consent to the division of royalties on the WIPO account that belong to the former SFRY. A settlement for the SFRY liabilities was proposed. The successor states have not yet reached an agreement as regards the division of the assets.

   


Private property and acquired rights

The Annex relates to the private property of citizens and legal entities, and binds the successor states to protect such property in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement, despite the fact that this involves private legal relations and not inter-government claims or obligations. The Annex is a constituent part of the Agreement and its implementation in accordance with the stated principle of direct application of treaties does not require the adoption of any legislative or implementing regulations. In connection with the implementation of the Annex in Serbia, there is no standardised practice owing to the conflicting positions of the executive and judicial branches of power regarding the issue of reciprocity. While the Serbian Government recognises reciprocity and generally facilitates the return of requested property to Slovenian companies, the courts have found that there is no reciprocity and reject the requests of Slovenian companies. Slovenia persistently calls on Serbia to eliminate this absence of uniform practices and to implement the provisions of the Agreement.


Round Table

Echoes of the Past: Slovenija and the Jura

13 July 2017 in Ljubljana



Exhibition

Exhibition entitled Legacy Stories presents the substance and significance of the Agreement.


Inter-state application against Croatia

Slovenia lodged before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) an inter-state application against Croatia related to the claims of Ljubljanska Banka towards Croatian companies.


Implementation of the case Ališić and oth.

Slovenia has been executing the judgement in the Ališić case consistently and in accordance with the legislation