The Slovenia Times

Slovenia will present lawsuit against Croatia before March


Erjavec announced this as he arrived for Friday's session of the Foreign Policy Committee on the implementation of the arbitration ruling and the state of the dialogue with Croatia.

The foreign minister told the press that he would acquaint the committee members with the preparations for the lawsuit, adding that the government would submit a draft to the European Commission by the end of February.

"I will present the preparations related to the lawsuit that we will first present to the European Commission under Article 259 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the EU and later to the EU Court in Luxembourg."

The article in question specifies that a member state which considers that another member state has failed to fulfil an obligation under the treaty and the Treaty on European Union may bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the EU.

According to Erjavec, the European Commission will have three months to decide whether to take over the proceedings or to let Slovenia continue them before the EU Court.

He is convinced that Croatia will change its dismissive stance on the respect of the arbitration decision. "We only need to be patient and continue with the activities implementing the arbitration decision" as the "law is on our side".

Erjavec also believes that the European Commission is on Slovenia's side, but he expects a "more active, concrete engagement" as opposed to what has so far been an "oral phase".

State Secretary Iztok Mirošič added that Slovenia did not reject dialogue with Croatia, but "dialogue can only be conducted on the implementation of the arbitration decision", if necessary "together with the European Commission".

He expects that the Commission will reiterate ahead of Croatian PM Andrej Plenković's visit to Brussels in February its position that the "arbitration decision needs to be implemented and international law respected".

Erjavec expects that the session will show the unity of the Slovenian parliamentary parties in resolving the border arbitration dispute with Croatia.

"The head of the opposition Democrats (SDS) Janez Janša is of the opinion that it is time for a time out. We can have it, but we have to continue all activities related to the drafting of the lawsuit for the EU Court."

"I'm for a time out when it comes to [sea border] incidents caused by the Croatian side unilaterally, but this is beyond our control," the foreign minister concluded.


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