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The response by the President of the Republic of Slovenia to the opinion of the European Commission with regard to Slovenia’s case against Croatia due to violating European Law

Ljubljana, 18. 6. 2018 | press release, statement

“I understand that the European Commission has the option, but not the duty, to give its opinion pursuant to Article 259 of the EU Treaty. I respect this.

However, the EC missed an opportunity to be able to use its opinion to politically and legally strengthen the efforts to implement the decision by the Arbitration Tribunal on the border between Slovenia and Croatia. This tribunal decided on the basis of an agreement between Slovenia and Croatia, which was significantly supported by none other than the European Commission.

The border dispute was resolved by way of the tribunal's decision; otherwise Croatia would not have been able to become an EU Member State, and the content of the agreement would not have become a part of European and international law. Now, the dispute between the countries is only regarding the implementation of this decision. The opinion of the European Commission could expedite such enforcement. This would have multi-layered beneficial consequences for resolving open bilateral issues between countries in SE Europe and for observing related commitments and agreements.

The European Commission failed to meet the expectations of siding with European and international law by clearly signalling that the agreements and decisions of courts must be observed.

Nonetheless, I am convinced that sooner or later the border between these two neighbouring countries will be determined in accordance with the tribunal’s decision.”