- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Croatia and Slovenia are expected to launch their border arbitration proceedings shortly, after Brussels announced it would propose a list of judges by the end of the month.
At a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic and her Slovenian counterpart, Samuel Zbogar, met with EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele to discuss the start of the border arbitration proceedings.
The European Commission will propose a list of international law experts by the end of January, from which Zagreb and Ljubljana should choose three to sit on the arbitration panel. The two countries have already chosen two judges themselves.
The two foreign ministers emphasised in Brussels their mutual interest in finding agreement on the judges.
The announcement by the EU brings Croatia and Slovenia one step closer to solving their nearly two-decade long dispute over the sea border between the two countries.
Croatia and Slovenia have been unable to agree on their land and sea border since becoming independent states in the early 1990s. The dispute centres on ownership of Piran Bay in the north Adriatic Sea and Slovenia's access to international waters.
An arbitration agreement was finally agreed in the second half of 2009 by then Croatian and Slovenian prime ministers Jadranka Kosor and Borut Pahor. Slovenia had blocked Croatia's EU negotiations for more than a year before the deal was signed.
The two leaders agreed to allow an arbitration panel rule on the case, and accept whatever judgement the panel reached, without the possibility of appeal.
The arbitration proceedings are expected to last for several years and cost some ten million euros, which will be paid equally by Croatia and Slovenia.
The border arbitration agreement reached between Slovenia and Croatia will enter into force on Monday, a further step forward in resolving the 18-year dispute between the two countries.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.