Slovenia's Pahor: EU court ruling 'changes nothing' for Slovenia

NEWS 31.01.2020 15:25
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Source: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Friday's ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) in which it dismissed Slovenia's case against Croatia involving border arbitration "changes nothing" for Slovenia, Slovenia's President Borut Pahor said.

“The border issue with Croatia has been settled, but our neighbour and friend is not yet ready to honour its commitments,” Pahor said at a traditional reception for foreign diplomats in Brdo pri Kranju.

Slovenia had brought its case against Croatia invoking EU treaty law which orders respect for the rule of law and loyal co-operation between member states, as it claims that Croatia’s refusal to accept the 2017 border arbitration ruling is in breach of EU law.

The arbitration, which was an attempt to solve a decades old dispute between the two former Yugoslav states which are now EU members, concerns the exact demarcation of their land and sea border. Both countries had agreed to the arbitration prior to Croatia’s EU membership in 2013.

However, in 2015 Croatia withdrew from the process over of a scandal involving leaked tapes which showed that a Slovenian government official had contacted and discussed the case with the court’s judge. In spite of Croatia’s withdrawal, the court made a ruling in 2017, which Slovenia considers binding for both parties.

Pahor added that the Friday’s court ruling had changed nothing in Slovenia’s stance.

“Indeed, it calls on both countries to implement the arbitration award,” Pahor said, and added that he said he is “confident that sooner or later Croatia will honour its commitments.”