Federica Mogherini, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the European Union, has probably never met, and even less got acquainted with the retired colonel of Croatian Army Petar Janjić. It is also highly probable that she never read his memoir book, Žedni krvi, gladni izdaje (Those Thirsty of Blood and Hungry of Treason), on the defence and the fall, and the later golgotha of the city of Vukovar.
The colonel’s book, along with all the descriptions of suffering and death, opened the never fully responded mystery as hot today as it was in the nineties.
Why did Croatian authorities not help Vukovar and why did they leave the city to fall?
Without answering this question, we cannot understand later wars in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the agreements of the Serbian and Croatian President Milošević and Dr Tuđman, about the final solution of the Yugoslav question.
Colonel Janjić, with the war name Tromblon, wrote again two days ago, on Wednesday, January 3rd. This time, they were not memoirs, but a letter, a kind of political pamphlet, which was intended for the president of the Croatian government, Andrej Plenković. He left the president 72 hours to answer. However, the colonel does not want and does not expect Plenković’s letter, but Plenković’s action and military response to the neighbouring state. Plenković’s boom-boom. If this is not done, they, as the colonel writes, retired soldiers, will do it, who will organize the fleet of hundreds of fishing boats and ships of war veterans and finally protect the Croatian state border with Slovenia from unlawful interventions by foreign police in Croatian territorial waters.
Up to this point, the colonel’s letter would only be one of many responses to the current dispute between the Croatian government and the international arbitration court on the pronounced verdict and the determination of the Croatian state and maritime border with the Republic of Slovenia. However, the colonel’s letter continues with a new warning.
That Croatia, first of all because of the indecisiveness of the ruling policies, has no regulated border issues with neighbouring countries, and that is exactly why Serbia has 24,000 hectares of Croatian territory along the Danube border crossing.
The letter has its own backgrounds, but above all it points to the fluctuation of the Croatian state border policy, because it changes the principles of regulation and settlement of border issues in accordance with its interests. And that is precisely why the boom-boom really happened on Danube in 2001.
Federica Mogherini, on December 18 last year, just days before the colonel’s letter sent to Plenković, hosted the president of the Serbian government and the prime ministers of the governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia. Behind the well-known theses about the significance of the membership of the Western Balkan states in the European Union and the determination of 2025 as the new deadline for the admission of Serbia and Montenegro, the obligation to regulate the mutual border issues was repeated at the evening meeting on a low level. Only Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev could calmly relax in his chair and watch interlocutors, because Macedonia is the only state that has a regulated border issue in its entirety. Mogherini spoke about the decision of the European Commission that solved border issues were the unconditional requirement for new membership in the European Union, because nobody wants to import decades of unresolved disputes.
This is a key news.
The ability of individual governments to close the border issues in a negotiated manner and determine the borders of their countries will be an essential criterion of their international success and readiness for a common life in the EU.
Therefore, a new substantial condition was set up. If, after 2000, it was the ability of the governments of the Balkan states to cooperate with the Hague war crimes tribunal in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, then, after 2017, it will be the ability of governments of the same states to regulate border issues.
Both basic conditions imply more than it could be concluded only by description. Cooperation with the Court in The Hague was not only the constant fear of the prime ministers during the visit of the main prosecutor Carla del Ponte and the discomfort during the presentation of her requests, but it was a direct and almost tangible measure of strength and determination to change. To respect differences, the right to a different religion, language, customs, reconciliation and democracy. That is why the Serbian and Croatian prime ministers, Dr Zoran Đinđić and Dr. Ivo Sanader were successful in the European way. Not because they were able to agree with the main Hague prosecutor, but because the condition for such a decision was the ability to convince their political partners and opponents that respect for human rights and international legal order is a condition of development.
Đinđić’s decision to extradite Slobodan Milošević was not just a judicial one, but was primarily a proof of a new political doctrine. Also, today, in 2018, the regulation of border issues is not only the ability to properly organize government services and surveyors, but primarily the proof of the political power of the prime minister or state to obtain sufficient support in the parliament for such a decision. That is why the last Brussels meeting of Mogherini is particularly significant. Specifically, the principle of functionality that is to be fulfilled was determined.
In 2000, the way of co-operation with the International Hague Tribunal was almost connected or awarded with financial assistance to individual countries of the region.
In 2018, this financial mechanism has been also prepared.
It was promoted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel with the so-called Berlin Process, a system of large-scale infrastructure investments in the region.
For the last twenty years or less, the Western Balkan countries have not been unable to resolve open border issues with mutual negotiations. In 2015, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a border agreement, while everyone else was far from a solution. Also those whom the colonel mentions, Croatia and Serbia. Therefore, the principle of arbitration, as a third-party assistance, was so tempting for all countries of the region. Even for the determination of the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the solution of the peaceful border issue of Croatia and Montenegro, Montenegro and Serbia and, of course, Kosovo.
Therefore, the Croatian dispute with the International Arbitration Court on the arbitration decision and the final determination of the border with Slovenia is primarily a dispute over one of the basic principles of the functioning of the EU, respecting of the legal order. Without this, only the colonel’s letters remain.
The December meeting of Mogherini with the representatives of the Western Balkan countries and the determination of the principles of the regulation of open border issues as condition for full membership was also the repeated promotion of the arbitration and the arbitral tribunal. As part of European aid to the region.