Who can solve the Croatia-Slovenia border row?
Slovenia is preparing a set of laws to implement the ruling of the International Arbitration Tribunal that was meant to resolve the country's border dispute with Croatia. Croatia, however, continues to reject the Tribunal's decision and wants new negotiations. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has now tasked his first Vice-President Frans Timmermans as arbitrator. But a look at the commentaries shows that Timmermans is by no means a welcome choice on all fronts.
EU mediation a bad idea
Mediation by an EU representative is not a good idea according to Večernji list:
“If the European Commission does mediate in the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia it will be a disgrace. Not because one must question whether the appointed mediator, Frans Timmermans, is unbiased given that right from the start he has pushed for the arbitration ruling, which was in Slovenia's favour, to be implemented. It is a disgrace because two states that long since reached democratic maturity are unable to resolve their problems on their own.”
Timmermans is the right choice
Delo, on the other hand, is delighted with the decision:
“Frans Timmermans is an experienced Dutch politician and diplomat who knows how to reach a compromise. ... The fact that he has been tasked with resolving the issue guarantees that it will be dealt with at the highest EU level. Croatia can't go on fighting the arbitration court's ruling forever. Croatia's head of government Andrej Plenković could push in a statesmanlike manner for the ruling to be implemented. For both sides it has more advantages than disadvantages. But it's not clear whether Croatia's political elite and society are able to make such a pragmatic choice.”