Yesterday’s statement of a new big complication between Slovenia and Croatia, and then an urgent press conference of the Croatian Minister of Foreign Affairs Vesna Pusić did not bring any relevant facts that should demonstrate the political expediency of the decision for such attempt of pre-planned doubt on the decision of the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration.
Moreover, such an act, and I’m talking about the public appearance of Mrs. Pusić on first place, during the evaluation procedure and arbitration, therefore during the judges’ work, is extremely unusual. Almost or quite unusual. Primarily because the foreign minister did not say anything more than what we had already read in the morning, not in the Croatian media, but first in the Belgrade daily Kurir and a good hour later in the Večernji list from Zagreb.
This is why I can decide only on the known facts.
First of all, it is necessary to respect the institution of the Court of Arbitration unanimously and with the necessary political verification chosen by both countries for the final solution to the border problem. That means respect for judges, their ways of working and ways of communicating decisions. That was exactly a key part of the agreement of both countries. And that any commenting on the work of the Court of Arbitration and its decision in advance is rude and unacceptable.
There was a spring appearance of the Slovenian minister of foreign affairs at one of the local televisions and his commenting on his own feeling that the judges’ decision for Slovenia would be favourable, quite unnecessarily. Although later the Court rejected the possibility of information leakage, after complaints from the Croatian side. The Court warned both sides on dignity of acting and references to the institution.
We have noticed then, a few days ago, the news that the court decision will be known at fall or at least until the winter. It was obvious that the author of the news was not the Court of Arbitration and it was clear that something was up. First of all, because preparations for the new parliamentary elections started in the neighbouring country, and also because the subject to arbitration and any decision could be one of the most important election topics. Even more, such or other decision of judges in The Hague could have an impact on the result of the election decision between the two political blocs.
However, yesterday’s speech of Minister of Foreign Affairs Vesna Pusić is still the first-class surprise. The Minister repeated, based on news published by Croatian media and apparently taken from the Belgrade daily Kurir, without additional evidence and immediately expressed doubts in the work of the Arbitration Court in The Hague, and added that it was not necessary that the neighbouring country recognizes the work and decisions of the judges.