Slovenia-Croatia border row enters next round
In the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia, both countries are threatening to escalate the conflict. Faced with Zagreb's refusal to recognise the arbitration tribunal's decision, Ljubljana has declared it will enforce its rights in the Gulf of Piran with force if need be and has threatened to block Croatia's accession to the OECD. Before that the Croatian prime minister had encouraged fishermen to disregard the ruling. What comes next in this row?
A warning shot from Slovenia
Slovenia will clearly stop at nothing to ensure that the ruling is implemented, Novi list comments:
“OECD membership isn't vitally important for Croatia, so Croatia won't be harmed by Slovenia's latest blockade. Nevertheless this unusual move is an important alarm signal. With it Ljubljana wants to prove to Zagreb that it's ready to resort to any means - conventional or unconventional - to force Croatia to implement the tribunal's decision. ... This blockade indicates that the Slovenian leadership could block Croatia's accession to the Schengen zone with the same obstinacy, even if in that case it could be acting entirely alone.”
No longer just Croatia's domestic affair
Croatia's failure to recognise the arbitration tribunal's decision bears certain similarities to Hungary's attitude to the ECJ ruling on refugee quotas, Delo notes:
“As with Hungary's behaviour, Croatia's non-recognition of the ruling is also no longer a domestic issue limited to one state, but a European problem. If the EU lets every single state arbitrarily interpret and implement the decisions of the highest courts - or not, as the case may be - then we can say goodbye to the Union once and for all. ... A few increasingly authoritarian Eastern European states have acted in this way of late, first and foremost Hungary and Poland. Anarchy and chaos are on our doorstep.”