Fishing boats in Savudrija Bay (Photo: Goran Kovacic/PIXSELL) Fishing boats in Savudrija Bay (Photo: Goran Kovacic/PIXSELL)

Slovenia claims that by not adhering to the arbitration court's 2017 ruling, which heavily favoured Ljubljana, Croatia is in violation of Articles 2 and 4 of the EU Fisheries Policy, regulating the transport of persons across borders and the directive on the establishment of a spatial planning framework at sea.

Slovenia is unhappy with the demarcation of the border it shares with Croatia, especially the maritime border, claiming that it should have access to international waters. Interestingly, Slovenia did not make the claim until well after the border was internationally recognized, nor had the issue ever been raised when the two countries were members of the former Yugoslavia, which also observed the same borders.

Croatia withdrew from the arbitration proceedings in 2015, after recordings were released clearing showing a Slovenian Foreign Ministry representative and the Slovenian member of the arbitral tribunal engaging in backroom deals in order to secure Ljubljana a favourable verdict. Concluding that the court had been tainted beyond repair, the decision to withdraw from the arbitration was unanimously upheld by Croatian Parliament and has been maintained by every successive government and Croatian President.

Since then Croatia has called for dialogue with Slovenia on this bilateral issue. However, Slovenia has shown little interest in bilateral talks. Commenting on the latest developments on Wednesday, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković reminded that the EU Court has no jurisdiction in the bilateral dispute.

Source: HRT