The Slovenia Times

Parliament to Meet over Arbitration With Croatia on Monday


The college of deputy group leaders is expected to meet at 9 AM on Monday to formally call an extraordinary plenary session dedicated to the matter. The Foreign Policy Committee is to meet at 10 AM and the entire assembly at 2 PM.

Both sessions will be held behind closed doors because the documents that Slovenia needs to submit to the arbitral tribunal in The Hague by 11 February are confidential under the border arbitration agreement.

It was the government which asked parliament to discuss the memorandum and the subject matter of the border dispute after failing to endorse the proposals drawn up by the Foreign Ministry at Friday's session.

Lawmakers will review two proposals - an original one that has been drawn up by the Foreign Ministry's task force for arbitration and a supplemented proposal of the subject matter of the border dispute, PM Janez Janša said on Friday, announcing that the National Assembly would decide on the kind of document Slovenia would submit to the tribunal.

But the leader of the opposition Social Democrats (SD), Igor Lukšič, noted on Saturday that under the arbitration agreement the responsibility for defining the subject matter of the dispute was clearly on the government.

"The government should stop manoeuvring, this is not about parties, nor about left or right government. This is about respecting the country's international commitments and the decision, endorsed in a referendum, that the border issue be solved through arbitration," Lukšič said in Ljubljana.

He said that the matter was of strategic importance and cautioned against "attempts to make it into an internal political problem".

"Some have been holding for twenty years the position that the issue cannot be solved... As I hear the National Assembly does not even have the legal basis to decide on the matter and it would be right if it returned the matter back to the government in accordance with the agreement."

Similarly, head of the deputy group of the opposition Positive Slovenia (PS) Jani Möderndorfer stated today that the parliamentary session was unnecessary because parliamentary parties had already presented their positions on the matter at last week's session of the parliamentary Foreign Policy Committee.

"Emergency sessions of parliament negatively affect neighbourly relations and create the impression of a state of emergency. An emergency parliamentary session on the state border takes us back to the Balkans of the 1990s and is a bad message to the neighbours and international community," Möderndorfer stated.

He said that the government had the party's full support for the adoption of the memorandum and that the PS was assuming its part of the responsibility for the decision taken. While noting that the parliamentary session was unnecessary, Möderndorfer said the party would take part in the session if that was the final condition for the adoption of the memorandum.


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