The border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia can be solved based on international law, and the European Commission, as well as the European Court of Justice, have taken their positions on the issue already, the Croatian President, Zoran Milanovic, said on Thursday in Slovenia, where he met with Slovenian President Borut Pahor on his first foreign visit since taking office earlier this month.
“It is necessary to sit down and talk, and see how to proceed,” Milanovic said.
Pahor, however, said that Slovenia’s position remains the same, which is that the 2017 arbitration ruling, determining the land and sea borders between the two countries, should be honoured in its entirety.
Croatia has withdrawn from the arbitration process in 2015 after a scandal involving leaked tapes which showed a Slovenian government official discussing the case with the court’s judge. Consequently, Croatia does not recognise the arbitration ruling.
Slovenia, however, is claiming that Croatia’s refusal to implement the decisions reached in 2017 is in breach of EU law.
Pahor on Thursday directly tied Croatia’s bid to join the passport-free Schengen area to the final settlement of the border dispute by enforcing the 2017 ruling.
“It is in Slovenia’s interest that Croatia joins Schengen… the element of security is very important for Slovenia. However, reaching an agreement on the arbitration ruling would make it easier for Slovenia to adopt a decision on Croatia’s Schengen bid,” Pahor said.