Croatia will not participate in arbitration proceedings behind which are shameful acts by some members, Parliament Speaker Bozo Petrov said on Friday, commenting on European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s statement that the Commission supported the Croatian-Slovenian border arbitration process.
The Croatian parliament unanimously decided in July 2015 that Croatia would withdraw from the process after it became public that Slovenian arbiter Jernej Sokolec and Slovenian government representative Simona Drenik had arranged the course of the process behind the scenes.
“Croatia will not participate in arbitration proceedings behind which are shameful acts by some members,” Petrov said in response to questions from the press.
Juncker told Slovenia’s STA news agency this week that the Commission supported the arbitration process, which he said was in the interest of both sides, and that he hoped both sides would honour the arbitration ruling unconditionally when it was delivered.
“It would be very interesting to see if Mr. Juncker or any other EU member would make such a comment if something like that happened in their country,” said Petrov.
Croatian Foreign Minister Davor Ivo Stier said yesterday Juncker’s view was unacceptable. “That undermines the European Commission’s authority because it is not within the European Commission’s jurisdiction to solve bilateral border disputes,” he said.
“The Croatian parliament adopted a unanimous decision on the matter” which must be respected, he said. “Croatia pulled out of the arbitration and that’s done. This issue must now be solved bilaterally.”/IBNA