(Vjeran Zganec Rogulja/PIXSELL) (Vjeran Zganec Rogulja/PIXSELL)

A decision is expected to be handed down by the European Commission on October 22nd on whether Croatia has fulfilled the conditions necessary to join the bloc's border-free area.

Slovenian MEPs express reservations about Croatia's technical and legal capacity to adequately protect the EU's external border. The lawmakers are now seeking a delay of the decision and ask that the issue be dealt with by the new European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen.

The letter was signed by six Slovenian MEPs, two each from the European People's Party (EPP), the Socialists and Democrats and the Renew Europe group. Two representatives of Janez Janša's SDS party, also a member of the EPP, refused to sign the letter.

The MEPs conceded that Croatia's accession to the Schengen area was a common interest for both for Slovenia and the EU, but added that Croatia should not be a security threat to the EU.

"In our opinion, there are very serious reservations regarding Croatia's technical and legal capacity to protect the Schengen Area as well as its compliance with EU legal standards, notably regarding respect for and implementation of international agreements and judgements," the Slovenian MEPs said in reference to the two countries' unresolved border dispute and failed arbitration court ruling which Croatia refuses to implement.

Source: HINA