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Oral hearing on violations of EU law due to Croatia’s refusal to accept the arbitration award

Ljubljana, 2 May 2018 – The Slovenian delegation of legal experts today took part in a meeting in Brussels, convened by the European Commission after Slovenia initiated proceedings against Croatia under Article 259 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, due to violations of EU law as a result of Croatia’s refusal to accept the arbitration award on the border between Slovenia and Croatia.

 

Article 259 stipulates that a member state intending to bring an action against another member state for an alleged infringement of an obligation under the Treaties before the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg must first bring the matter before the European Commission. The Commission delivers a reasoned opinion within three months after each of the States concerned has been given the opportunity to submit its own case and its observations on the other party's case both orally and in writing.

On 16 March 2018, Slovenia submitted to the European Commission a letter specifying violations of EU law committed by the Republic of Croatia and requesting further measures. The European Commission then called on Croatia to submit in writing its own case by 17 April 2018, and convened an oral hearing in Brussels on 2 May 2018, with Slovenia and Croatia presenting their positions. Slovenia attended the oral hearing, and again outlined the specific cases of violations due to Croatia’s rejection of the arbitration award. Moreover, Croatia, by rejecting the arbitration award and thus the rule of law, is also violating the fundamental principles of the European Union. After the oral hearing held today, Slovenia remains convinced that the law is on its side.

 

After both countries have been given the opportunity to present their own case orally and in writing, the European Commission must deliver a reasoned opinion in accordance with Article 259 of the Treaty. If the Commission has not delivered an opinion within three months of the date on which the matter was brought before it (i.e. by 18 June 2018), Slovenia may bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union.