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SLOVENIA WON THE WAR AGAINST CROATIA: Court decided whose Piran Bay is (PHOTO)

Croatia and Slovenia have been fighting over the Piran Bay for many years. Both countries agreed to settle the whole issue before the arbitrary tribunal, and then Croatia went out of this process in 2015 by decision in the Parliament

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The Arbitral Tribunal in The Hague reached a verdict yesterday in the case of a border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia over the Bay of Piran. Slovenians received approximately 3/4 of the bay, which would mean that Croatia certainly lost part of the maritime territory, which, by a special act of association, received a corridor towards international waters. But they did not get the exit in international waters. 


TOMORROW IS D-DAY FOR CROATIA AND SLOVENIA: The Hague Court issues a final verdict on a dispute that lasts for more than a decade


With the special act of "juction", the Court determined the area through Croatian territorial waters which allows Slovenia access to international waters.


As far as the land border of the two countries is concerned, it is almost indisputable, except on the border of Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary, and at the mouth of the Dragonja River.


Croatia and Slovenia have been fighting over the Piran Bay for many years. Both countries agreed to settle the whole issue before the arbitrary tribunal, and then Croatia went out of this process in 2015 by decision in the Parliament. On that occasion, they said they wanted an alternative solution to this case, because the arbitration process was compromised by alleged lobbying of Slovenians in their favor.



The arbitral tribunal announced that the proceedings had been completed and that the decision would be made within a few months. Zagreb said that this verdict would be "a dead letter on paper" for them. The Croatian side demanded that the demarcation should follow the equidistance line, that is, to divide the bay in half.


The first speculations about possible irregularities in the arbitration appeared after the statement of Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Erjavec in the TV talk show on TV Velenje. At that time, Erjavec said that "according to unofficial information", he was optimistic that "Slovenia will get an exit to the open sea", which would mean that the court will decide in favor of Ljubljana.


A real scandal broke out in 2015, when Vecernji List revealed and announced that the member of the Arbitral Tribunal, Jernej Sekolec, had spoken to a member of the expert team and a representative of the Court on several occasions, Simona Drenik of the Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and he transferred the details from confidential discussion, statements and opinions of the President of the Court Gilbert Guillaume and other arbiters.


Printskrin: Google

Printskrin: Google


When the storm broke out in Croatia, the Slovenian Ministry of foreign affairs denied that they had any privileged information. The adviser to the Court in charge of the arbitration of Croatia and Slovenia Dirk Pulkowski promised to Vecernji List that the court will conduct an investigation.


The Croatian representative definitely did not attend the verdict annunciation of the Arbitral Tribunal in the border dispute in the Piran Bay of that state and neighboring Slovenia, which was confirmed yesterday by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.


Foto: Tanjug/AP

Foto: Tanjug/AP


- Despite the formal signal we received from the Arbitral Tribunal to physically accept the verdict itself at some point, the Croatian Government decided not to do so - Plenkovic said, introducing to the Croatian Council basic conclusions of the European Council held on Thursday and Friday in Brussels.


Since the verdict has no relevance to Zagreb considering they have irretrievably went out of the process, Croatia "will not accept the verdict but we will, i presume, know when it is published on the internet or broadcast. Our positions are solid, and we will persevere on them and we expect strong support of Croatian parliament", said Plenkovic.


Foto: Wikipedia/Richard Huber

Foto: Wikipedia/Richard Huber


He stressed the importance of the continuation, he said, of the overall dialogue with Slovenia. He added that the decision of the court would not be acceptable for Croatia, regardless of "what will and how will any other actor, any state or international organization comment".


Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in an interview with Ljubljana's Delo that arbitration procedure on the border dispute with Slovenia is no longer relevant for Croatia and that nothing will happen in particular. 


Foto: Profimedia/Stella Pictures - daily

Foto: Profimedia/Stella Pictures - daily


- Croatia will neither accept nor reject the outcome of the arbitration because it does not exist for us - said the president, reminding on the unique attitude of Croatia that the arbitration was irreversibly compromised and that the dialogue between the two countries on a bilateral dispute should be sought in another framework.


Official Ljubljana, however, does not think so. Their representative attended the reading of the verdict, and Slovenian officials were clear in the past days that there will be no other dialogue on territorial dispute. Slovenia was represented in the Hague by Slovenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karl Erjavec.


(Telegraf.co.uk / Tanjug / express.hr)

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