Local media: Slovenia might block Croatia’s plans to join the EU’s Schengen area

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Source: AFP/Ilustracija

"Slovenia's new Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon is advocating that Croatia enters the EU passport-free travel Schengen Area as soon as possible, but under the condition that Croatia implements the border arbitration ruling," state agency Hina said on Friday, citing an opinion piece by the Vecernji List daily.

Hina said that Vecernji said that the Croatian Foreign Minister, Gordan Grlic-Radman, said that “Croatia’s Schengen entry has nothing to do with the border arbitration.”

State agency Hina cited Slovenia’s state agency STA news agency which cited Fajon as saying that “Schengen should be renewed as soon as possible by setting clear and transparent rules for accession.”

Fajon said she was advocating that Croatia join as soon as possible and that those rules included implementation of the arbitration award which defines the Croatian-Slovenian border.

“The Croatian parliament adopted a decision to irrevocably walk out of the arbitration process because it was compromised and contaminated by Slovenia’s arbitrator and agent, who used illegal means to influence the process,” Hina explained, without clarifying.

“Slovenia, however, insisted on the arbitration, which continued, and a ruling was delivered which Croatia does not recognize. This was why all Slovenian governments before the last one led by Janez Jansa made normalisation of relations between the two countries conditional on Croatia’s recognition and application of the arbitration award, which has been unacceptable to all Croatian governments,” Hina said.

“After a two-year arbitration break during the Jansa cabinet, the problem has now returned with the new government led by Robert Golob, as indicated by Fajon’s statement as well as Golob, who said recently that the award remains “an anchor in Slovenia’s policy on Croatia,” Hina said that Vecernji List said, adding that this “could lead to new tensions between the two countries.”

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