Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Croatia and Slovenia submit maritime border arbitration agreement to UN

Piran Bay has been disputed between Croatia and Slovenia since 1991

Croatia and Slovenia have submitted an arbitration agreement to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on their long-standing sea border dispute, it was reported on 26th May.

The agreement will refer the border dispute to international arbitration.

Croatia and Slovenia have disputed ownership over the Bay of Piran since gaining independence in 1991.

In November 2009, Croatia's Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and her Slovenian counterpart Borut Pahor signed the agreement, and it was narrowly approved in a popular referendum in Slovenia in June 2010.

The border row is centred on access to international waters, a signficant issue for Slovenia due to its very short coastline (29 miles).

Croatia claims the border should be drawn down the middle of the bay of Piran – a small bay of just 8 square miles, which Slovenia fears would deny its ships direct passage to international waters.

In 2004, Slovenia became the first former Yugoslav state to join the EU. Croatia hopes to become the second in 2012, but Slovenia had threatened to veto Croatia's accession until the dispute was resolved.

Any decision the arbitration tribunal makes will be final and binding.

Sources: BBC News, Hina, SE Times

For more information, please see the Menas Borders website, here.

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