International court to rule on Slovenia-Croatia border row

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 19, 2017 7:50 AM

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - The international arbitration court in The Hague will release its ruling on a border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia on June 29, the court said on Monday, although Croatia's withdrawal from the proceedings in 2015 casts doubt on its implementation.

The neighbours, both members of the European Union, have been arguing over a stretch of their sea and land border since both declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991.

The dispute held up Croatia's accession to the EU. Only after both parties agreed to arbitration was Croatia granted entry to the European Union in 2013, nine years after Slovenia's accession to the bloc. No other former Yugoslav state has joined the EU so far.

Croatia withdrew from the arbitration procedures in 2015 after a leaked tape showed a Slovenian judge on the panel improperly exchanging confidential information with the Ljubljana government.

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The judge subsequently resigned and the court decided to continue with the case, saying the incident had not compromised the court's ability to reach a final verdict.

Slovenia has said Croatia should respect the verdict, while Croatian officials say there the row should be resolved bilaterally.

(Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)