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European Commission - Press release

Launch of the arbitration process between Slovenia and Croatia

Brussels, 17 January 2012 - The European Commission welcomes the successful launch of the arbitration process between Slovenia and Croatia. We are delighted that the governments of both countries have agreed on the appointment of the President of the Arbitral Tribunal and two Members recognised for their competence in international law based on a list established by the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.

"This common agreement is a very welcome signal for the positive development of the good neighbourly relations between the two countries as well as for the Western Balkans regions showing that even difficult issues can be best solved by means of dialogue and cooperation" congratulated Commissioner Füle the two Parties.

Under the terms of the Arbitration Agreement signed on 4 November 2009 in Stockholm, the Commission undertook to establish a list of candidates from which both Parties shall appoint by common agreement three members including the President of the Arbitral Tribunal. In addition, each Party shall appoint a further member of the Arbitral Tribunal, which will thus comprise of five members.

The Commission has accepted this role and has established the list in line with the provisions of the Agreement after the positive meeting of the Slovenian and Croatian Foreign Ministers with Commissioner Štefan Füle on 10 January 2012 which has facilitated the successful launch of the arbitration process. The Commission commends the two Parties for the very constructive approach in this process, which paved the way to this agreement.

Following this agreement, the President of the Arbitral Tribunal is Mr Gilbert Guillaume and the two Members appointed from the list established by the Commission are Mr Bruno Simma and Mr Vaughan Lowe. The European Commission commends them for their willingness to take up the task to settle this dispute between the two countries.

Contacts :

Peter Stano (+32 2 295 74 84)

Anca Paduraru (+32 2 296 64 30)

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