The border dispute that has poisoned relations between Croatia and Slovenia should not constitute an obstacle for proceeding with Croatia’s EU accession negotiations, the prime ministers of the two countries announced today (11 September).
Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and her Slovene counterpart Borut Pahor announced the news after holding talks in Ljubljana, the Croatian agency HINA reported.
They two leaders also announced that they would pursue talks for solving the dispute, based on a European Commission proposal.
Pahor said the negotiations on the settlement of the border dispute would resume with EU mediation, from the point at which they were interrupted on June 15, when Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn’s latest proposal was on the table.
The Slovenian prime minister added that his government would propose to the parliament that Croatia’s accession talks be unblocked. If the proposal was endorsed in parliament, accession negotiations would resume as soon as possible, he added.
Pahor said the two countries would invite Sweden to organise an accession conference as soon as possible, so that the blockade could be lifted and the negotiations on the settlement of the border row simultaneously resumed.
Late last year, Slovenia blocked the opening of nine new negotiation chapters with Croatia, and prevented five more from being closed down.
For her part, Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor said the Swedish EU Presidency had been notified that no document, position, written or oral statement in the Croatian negotiating process prejudges a solution to the Croatian-Slovene border demarcation issue.
Over the last period, Slovenia was claiming that Croatia had provided documents to the Commission which “prejudged” the border dispute. In the process of negotiations, Croatia agreed that should the legal services ever consider this to be the case, Zagreb would be ready to withdraw them (EURACTIV 19/06/09).