Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Slovenia, Croatia, the EU and Piran Bay

"As two former Yugoslav republics, Slovenia and Croatia, press on with a border dispute that has dragged on for over a decade, the international community is likely to step in to resolve the issue through arbitration.

In the latest developments, Slovenian lawmakers last week presented a map of the border between the two countries, asking Croatia to hand over a disputed bay and grant access to the open seas. If those demands are not met, some Slovenian politicians warn that they could hold a referendum against Croatia's entry into the EU.

At the center of the dispute is the Bay of Piran, a small body of water in the northern Adriatic Sea some 20 square kilometers in size that is not visible on most maps of Europe. Both countries claim ownership of the bay. Over the past few years, diplomacy over the issue has been characterized by tit-for-tat actions, usually targeting fishermen, on the part of both countries.

There is no clear border demarcation between the two former Yugoslav republics in this area, and neither have any historical base for which to claim ownership of the bay."

Read the full article at ISN Security Watch

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