International conflicts of the successor states of Yugoslavia

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The disintegration of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s led to numerous international conflicts among the successor states of Yugoslavia. However, numerous dormant conflicts with other European states also flared up again, which the newly emerged states now have to resolve.

Among the greatest conflicts among the successor states of Yugoslavia are the armed conflicts that followed the declaration of independence of Slovenia and Croatia in 1991. Today, the EU’s relations with the exclave of successor states that have not yet joined (including Albania) are subsumed under the term Western Balkans.

Border conflicts

Ethnic composition of Yugoslavia according to the 1991 census

Territories of the “Republic of Serbian Krajina

The border between Croatia and Serbia

The Bay of Kotor

The Disintegration of Yugoslavia

Following the declaration of independence by Croatia and Slovenia, the Yugoslav Peace Conference began in The Hague in September 1991 under the leadership of Peter Carrington. The Arbitration Commission of the Yugoslav Peace Conference, headed by Robert Badinter, concluded on 7 December 1991 that it was “not a question of secession but of disintegration” of the former Yugoslavia. The borders of the former socialist republics were retained and declared national borders by the Badinter Commission (Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian Badinterova komisija).

A part of the Serbian national minority proclaimed the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK) in parts of Croatia where they were in the majority[1]proclaimed the Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), which comprised almost a third of Croatian state territory. Almost all non-Serbs then fled the area or were expelled.[2] Most of the RSK was eventually reintegrated by military force (Operations Bljesak and Oluja) in 1995, while the remaining territories in Eastern Slavonia were initially placed under a UN interim administration (UNTAES mission) under the Erdut Agreement and were not fully incorporated into the Croatian state until 1998.

Land borders

The border between Croatia and Serbia

The course of the border between Serbia and Croatia along the Danube is still disputed today. While Serbia advocates a demarcation along the middle of the river, as on the Hungarian-Slovak, Serbian-Romanian or Romanian-Bulgarian border, Croatia claims the borders on the basis of former cadastral municipalities, which would leave 11,500 hectares of land to Croatia and 900 hectares of land to Serbia. According to the border demarcation on the basis of cadastral municipalities and according to the Badinter Commission, some small but very fertile areas on the other side of the Danube belong to Croatia.

As the Danube changed its course by several kilometres in the last centuries, the border did not always run in the middle of the river, but along oxbows of the Danube, or river islands were formed, which extended into Serbian territory, but belonged to Croatia. In the Erdut Agreement, signed by the Croatian government and a Serbian delegation in 1998, Eastern Slavonia, which had been under the control of Serb insurgents, was returned to Croatian administration. At that time, the borderline was provisionally defined as the middle reaches of the Danube. Therefore, Serbian-Montenegrin military forces took control of the disputed Danube islands (including Šarengradska Ada and Vukovarska Ada), which are located on the Serbian side of the river.

Even after this agreement, there were isolated incidents of Croats with Serbian military patrol boats on the Danube. In the meantime, Serbian police forces took over the border protection. The total area of the disputed territories, which are now under Serbian administration, is 115 km².

The border between Croatia and Montenegro

The southernmost point of Croatia is represented by the Prevlaka peninsula to the left of the entrance to the bay. Immediately adjacent is the Bay of Kotor, which is now in Montenegro. A Croatian minority has lived on the Bay of Kotor for centuries. After the war, Montenegro was initially part of the state of Serbia and Montenegro, which was called “Rest of Yugoslavia” at the time. The Prevlaka peninsula was disputed for a long time, since from this point the entire entrance to the Bay of Kotor can be controlled. Almost the entire military fleet of the former Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) was stationed in Montenegro. The central administration for Montenegro was in Belgrade, so a solution to the problem was in doubt for a long time. Serbia-Montenegro later accepted that the Prevlaka peninsula belonged to Croatia. In 1996-2002, an independent UN mission was even run here, the United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka(UNMOP).[3]

However, there is still disagreement about the associated boundary in the Adriatic Sea, especially with regard to suspected oil and gas deposits in this area.[4]

The border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro

Not far from the Prevlaka peninsula, in the front part of the Bay of Kotor, is the area of the (former) municipality of Sutorina, which until 1946 belonged to Bosnia and Herzegovina and thus represented a second access of the country to the sea, along with Neum. The 75 square kilometre area also includes the village of Igalo and the Bjelotina massif; it has a 9.3 kilometre coastline. In an agreement between the prime ministers of both Yugoslav republics at the time, the area was annexed to Montenegro in 1947.[5] This place had previously belonged to Herzegovina as a corridor,[6] After the disintegration of Yugoslavia, there were repeated demands from the Bosnian side to return the area in question to Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the second half of 2014, a working group of both states was established with the aim of finding a solution to this dispute.[7][8] In the autumn of 2014, the Bosnian MP Denis Bećirović of the opposition SDP introduced a motion in the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina according to which the territory should formally belong to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro would only have been granted a perpetual right of use. This motion was rejected by a majority in parliament on 14 May 2015. The governments of both countries thus consider the matter closed.[9] Then on 24 August 2015 – in the course of the Western Balkans Conference in Vienna – the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanović, and the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dragan Čović, signed a final border treaty between the two states.[10][11]

The border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s access to the Adriatic Sea

The longest border within the former Yugoslavia is the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Near the village of Neum in southern Dalmatia, the Croatian territory is cut by an approximately eight-kilometre-wide section of the Herzegovinian coast. In order to solve the problem, construction work on the Pelješac Bridge began in 2007, which was intended to connect the two Croatian parts of the country and bypass the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. After the construction work had been stopped for the time being in 2012, it is to be continued in autumn 2017. The planned completion date for the new bridge is 2022.[12]

The Pelješac Peninsula and the Bay of Neum, which belong to Croatia

Part of the border along the Una River near Martin Brod and some villages at the foot of Plješevica Mountain belong cadastrally to Croatia, while others belong to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This leads to numerous border crossings along the valley and hinders economic development in this region. The Zagreb-Bihać-Split railway connection is still without passenger traffic for these reasons. The road from Karlovac via Bihać to Knin, which is part of the European road E 71, is less and less frequented, as Croatia built a new motorway west of this route.

The border demarcation on the Una between the places Hrvatska Kostajnica (Croatia) and Kostajnica (Bosnia and Herzegovina) is not considered a final solution, especially by the Croatian side. In the times of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, both parts belonged to one town (Kostajnica). A river island between these two towns belongs cadastrally to Croatia, but is under Bosnian control. Both states agreed on the establishment of an international border crossing point on the said island.

Another very important problem for Croatia will be securing the long external EU border. This is also the route of one of the most important drug routes to Europe (“Balkan route”). However, Croatia will also defend the interests of the Croats living on the other side of the border, in Herzegovina and Bosnia.

The question of dual citizenship for Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina will also be of great importance. These are entitled to dual citizenship on the basis of the current legal situation, regardless of their place of residence. Non-Croats, however, can only obtain Croatian citizenship if they have lived in Croatia for more than five years.

The border between Slovenia and Croatia

Austria and Hungary with Cisleithania (red), Transleithania (blue) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (yellow).

Course of the Mur

Since the disintegration of the old Yugoslavia, there is still no agreement on the course of the state borders between Croatia and Slovenia along the Mura River. Therefore, a border regime from the time of the Badinter Commission is still in force. The Arbitration Committee set up by the European Community under the former French Minister of Justice Robert Badinter delivered several legal opinions on the situation under international law in the states of the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1992. At that time, the Arbitration Committee confirmed the disintegration of Yugoslavia. This definition was subsequently used in all international legal documents. Among other things, the Badinter Commission confirmed the principle of international law uti juris possidetis (German: was ihr besitzt, das sollt ihr besitzen), according to which the former republic borders were declared to be state borders.[13][14]

This determination has its practical pitfalls in the Slovenian-Croatian border area, because this very area was listed in both cadastral registers in the former Yugoslavia. The border on the Mura is one of the historically oldest borders in Europe (formerly between Austria and Hungary). The Mura has changed its course somewhat over time and still does. While in the Bay of Piran the Slovenian cadastral border extends beyond the Dragonja River, it is the other way around for the Mura. There, the Croatian cadastre extends across the river to the Slovenian side. Especially in 2005, when there were numerous floods, the contradictory jurisdictions became apparent.

In the summer of 2006, a conflict situation arose. This was triggered by improvements to the flood protection along the Mura, which were initiated from the Croatian side. The construction work was to take place on Croatian cadastral territory. However, the parcels are owned by Slovenian owners. Croatia wanted to improve the flood protection measures, whereby a Croatian construction team was to reinforce the dams in the disputed area and build a bridge over the Mura. Slovenian landowners immediately protested to Prime Minister Janez Janša, who sent special police squads to the border in the area of the village of Hotiza, thereby bringing about a halt to construction.[15]

The border between Croatia and Slovenia

In early September 2006, the prime ministers of Croatia and Slovenia, Ivo Sanader and Janez Janša, paid a visit to the area. Both agreed to have the work carried out by a joint consortium and supervised by a Croatian-Slovenian police patrol. Slovenian journalists wanted to film this patrol the following week when it was due to move out for the first time. Although there was apparently a filming permit and the journalists did not cross the Mura, the Croatian police arrested the journalists.[16]

The government in Ljubljana immediately took the initiative and sent a heavily armed police task force to protect Slovenian territory. Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel immediately wrote to the EU Commission, but the latter replied that the problem was purely bilateral and could be solved with good will.

Croatian Foreign Minister Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović criticized Foreign Minister Rupel’s harsh approach as undiplomatic. In addition, the Slovenian side was accused of inflaming the border problems, as all this was taking place during the pre-election campaign for the Slovenian local elections. These elections were supposed to be the first major test of sentiment for Prime Minister Janez Janša’s conservative coalition.[17] Local representatives asked for the heavily armed Slovenian special forces to be removed.[18]

Military installation on the Sichelberg

The military installation of the former Yugoslav People’s Army on the mountain Sveta Gera (Slovenian Trdinov vrh, German Sichelberg) caused a diplomatic conflict in the 1990s. It was disbanded by the Yugoslav People’s Army in 1991, but subsequently taken over by the Slovenian Army. According to an agreement between the two countries, the military barracks are located on Croatian territory, but can only be reached via Slovenia.

Border disputes in the area of the Dragonja estuary

Within the former Yugoslavia, the course of the Dragonja River was established as the border between the socialist republics of Croatia and Slovenia. The Dragonja flows south of the Slovenian Portorož into the Adriatic Sea, into the Bay of Piran. Here, the course of the river is also problematic, as the mouth of the Dragonja encompasses very swampy territory and a clear border course is difficult to determine. Slovenia claims the villages of Škudelini, Bužin and Mlini-Škrile, which are located south of the Dragonja.[19] The demarcation of the border along the Dragonja and the Odorik Canal (Croatian: Kanal sv. Odorika) is also disputed.

Especially in the area of the Dragonja estuary, there are still numerous uncertainties about the exact course of the border. For example, although there is a border crossing point, not all plots of land have been regulated by the cadastral authorities (some plots are listed in the cadastral registers of both states). Thus, Joško Joras, a Slovenian politician whose house is located on the territory south of Dragonja, which is claimed by both states, has attracted great media attention in recent years. He refuses to recognize Croatian jurisdiction and in the past has often made demonstrative signs of protest (such as displaying the Slovenian flag on his house while simultaneously stating that this was never Croatian state territory).[20] Thus, in the past, Joras often crossed the border line claimed by Croatia via a gravel path leading from his house into Slovenia. In 2004, there was even a minor international scandal when a group of politicians from the Slovenian People’s Party (SLS) paid a visit to Joras without crossing the Croatian border post. On their return, this group was arrested by the Croatian border guards, which triggered a major media response on both sides, as the arrest was filmed by Slovenian television.[21]

The Croatian customs guard subsequently barricaded access to Joras’ private road with massive flower pots. Most recently, in May 2006, a Slovenian court ruled that these barriers should be removed. However, the decision was not accepted by the Croatian diplomats.[22] Following the decision of the Interior Ministers of both states on 25 May 2008, Joras received a key for the ramp to be built on the gravel road near the Plovanija border crossing instead of the flower pots.[23]

The maritime border between Slovenia and Croatia

Boundary demarcation in the Bay of Piran

The “Račan-Drnovšek Plan”, which met with strong opposition in Croatia.

The biggest problem in the Slovenian-Croatian border conflict is the demarcation of the border in the Bay of Piran. Croatia invokes Article 15, Clause 1 of the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, which – as a rule – provides for a median line as the boundary:

Where the coasts of two States are opposite or contiguous, neither of them shall, in the absence of agreement to the contrary between them, be entitled to extend its territorial sea beyond the median line at which each point is equidistant from the nearest points on the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea of each of the two States is measured.

Slovenia invokes the second sentence of the same Article 15 of the 1982 Convention, according to which other factors must also be taken into account:

However, this provision shall not apply if, by reason of historical legal titles or other special circumstances, it is necessary to delimit the territorial seas of the two States in derogation therefrom.

Slovenia argues that the Bay of Piran was already largely under Slovenian administration until 1991 and that Slovenia would otherwise have no access to the open sea as a result of its position in the bay. Croatia argues that Slovenian vessels are in any case entitled to transit through Croatian maritime areas on the basis of the right of innocent passage.

In 2001, the then prime ministers of Slovenia and Croatia, Janez Drnovšek and Ivica Račan, agreed on a compromise that provided access to international waters for Slovenia and, as compensation, the surrender of some Slovenian territories to Croatia.[24]

The treaty was initialled by the then Croatian Prime Minister Račan, but as it was heavily criticized by the Croatian public, it was rejected by the Croatian Parliament and not ratified.[25][26][27]

In January 2012, the two states agreed on an arbitral tribunal consisting of French international lawyer Gilbert Guillaume, British lawyer Vaughan Lowe, German-Austrian international lawyer Bruno Simma, as well as Croatia’s proposed lawyer Budislav Vukas and Slovenia’s nominated arbitrator Jernej Sekolec. After a conspiratorial conversation between Sekolec and Simona Drenik, Slovenia’s representative in the arbitration, was published by the Serbian edition of Newsweek in July 2015,[28] both resigned from their positions at the Arbitration Court. On 29 June 2017, the Arbitral Tribunal rendered its judgment awarding large parts of the bay to Slovenia;[29] however, as Croatia had previously left the proceedings, Croatian head of government Andrej Plenković announced that he would not recognise the decision.[30] The European Court of Justice, which was then called upon by Slovenia, declared itself not competent in 2020.[31]

Ecological reserve

Political division of the Upper Adriatic
blue: Croatian claim to an exclusive economic zone(Zaštićeni ekološko-ribolovni pojas, ZERP)

In 2004, Croatia declared the entire Croatian maritime area an ecological protected area and a controlled fishing zone in order to protect the sensitive marine fauna and vegetation on Croatian maritime territory. In the context of Slovenia’s concerns about the establishment of an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic, a meeting of the Adriatic Trilaterals (Slovenia, Croatia, Italy) took place on 4 June 2004. Slovenia considers the Croatian exclusive economic zone as a unilateral predetermination (precedent) of the borders with this state.[32][33]
The agreed minutes, signed by the former Croatian State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hidajet Biščević, stipulated that Croatia would abstain from activating the exclusive ecological and fisheries zone (ZERP) to European citizens and legal persons as long as this was not settled in the fisheries negotiations as part of the accession negotiations.[34] In return, Croatia was promised the start of accession negotiations.

Nevertheless, Croatia wanted to fully activate the exclusive fishing zone on 1 January 2008, as declining fish stocks were already observed throughout the Adriatic in 2007. In particular, the Croatian Peasant Party maintained that Croatia’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the Adriatic should also apply to EU citizens. Slovenia and the EU threatened to freeze 5 to 6 negotiating chapters if Croatia continued to apply the Exclusive Economic Zone (ZERP). The Croatian government subsequently decreed in February 2008 that the ecological protection zone would remain in place, but would not be applied to EU member states.[35]

Slovenia, for its part, proclaimed an exclusive economic zone on 21 February 2006.[36]
The law was declared null and void by the Croatian side immediately after its proclamation, as according to the Croatian view it provided for a Slovenian maritime influence as far south as Poreč on Istria.[37][38][39]

Agreement on the prevention of border incidents

In June 2005, Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel and his Croatian counterpart Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović agreed on a declaration to prevent border incidents.[40]

Slovenian protests and Institute for the Preservation of National Heritage

In early 2007, the Croatian parliament extended a concession to the oil company INA to exploit natural gas deposits in the northern Adriatic, an area 45 km west of Pula in Croatian waters. The Slovenian government then sent a note of protest to Zagreb, expressing its displeasure that “this is another of the numerous attempts by Croatia to prejudice the interstate maritime borders, as well as the territorial waters belonging to them, the seabed and the ground beneath it”.[41]

In 2007, former Deputy Prime Minister of Slovenia Marjan Podobnik (SLS) founded the Zavod 25. junij – Zavod za varovanje narodne dediščine (Engl. Institute 25 June – Institute for the Preservation of the People’s Heritage, referring to 25 June 1991, the day of Slovenia’s declaration of independence), which is committed to changing the existing borders.[42]

The question of arbitration

Croatia tightened its diplomatic approach from 2007 onwards. Slovenia continuously took offence at the opinion of the Badinter Arbitration Commission of 1992, which Croatia for its part accepted without reservations. In its statements, the Slovenian government always insisted on the “status of 25 June 1991”, the day of the declaration of independence of Slovenia and Croatia.[14] Protests to the EU or the UN are not ruled out.

The prime ministers of both states agreed in Bled (“Bled Agreement”) to turn to an international court of arbitration on the border issue. Each state was to present its own arguments before this arbitral tribunal.[43][44]

Croatia has wanted the EU to be present in bilateral talks on the border dispute since the Slovenian veto in December 2008.[45] Slovenian President Danilo Türk favours conciliation rather than arbitration.[46]

Slovenia veto

On 19 December 2008, at the meeting of EU foreign ministers, Slovenia vetoed the opening of further negotiating chapters on Croatian membership in the European Union. Slovenia justified the veto with alleged Croatian territorial claims to Slovenian territory. The Croatian government, as well as the Croatian president, and the EU Council’s Legal Advisory Council stated in advance that the border demarcation vis-à-vis Slovenia is not prejudiced in any Croatian document.[47][48] Slovenia used its position as an EU member state in the Council of the EU to indefinitely postpone Croatia’s EU accession date or even prevent it from joining the EU. The Croatian public subsequently reacted angrily to the behaviour of its neighbour, with whom – according to President Stjepan Mesić – it once shared a common state and with whom it shares many cultural values and millennia-old traditions.[49] In Croatia, immediately after the Slovenian veto, the voices to boycott Slovenian goods in the future increased, whereupon the Croatian prime minister and president appealed to the common sense of the citizens.

On 10 September 2009, Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor announced the lifting of the veto. This was preceded by talks with his Croatian colleague Jadranka Kosor, in which Croatia undertook to withdraw all documents that prejudge a border between Croatia and Slovenia. This separates the issue of accession negotiations from the border dispute.[50] The final border demarcation is then to be clarified in an arbitration court supported by the EU, in line with Olli Rehn’s proposal. Only the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Slovenian Parliament still had to approve this step, which it did unanimously on 29 September.[51] The agreement on arbitration[52] was signed in Stockholm on 4 November 2009 by the two prime ministers in the presence of the Swedish Prime Minister and President-in-Office of the European Council Fredrik Reinfeldt,[53] which was confirmed on the Slovenian side by a narrow referendum on 6 June 2010.[54]

Other conflicts

Savings deposits with Slovenian Ljubljanska banka

After the breakup of Yugoslavia, the whereabouts of approximately US$60 million in savings deposits of Croatian citizens at the Zagreb branch of Ljubljanska banka (now Nova Ljubljanska Banka) has remained unaccounted for. Croatia accuses Slovenia of transferring savings deposits to Slovenia. Slovenia denies any guilt and insists that the savings deposits were transferred to Croatia upon Croatian independence.[55] Croatia demands a refund of the savings deposits to all savers of Ljubljanska banka.[56] Because of the opaque situation, no solution is yet in sight.[55]

Krško nuclear power plant in Slovenia

The Krško nuclear power plant is another point of contention between Croatia and Slovenia. It was built during the times of the former Yugoslavia with joint participation of Slovenia and Croatia (50:50 participation) and is still owned by both states.[57]

The provinces of Serbia (the official name of the province in the south is Kosovo and Metohija because, according to Serbian opinion, it is part of Serbia under international law. Kosovo is a name used by international organizations)

North Macedonia

Kosovo conflict and the Albanian question

Main article: History of Kosovo

Kosovo was granted the status of an autonomous region within Serbia in 1974 under pressure from the Albanian majority there and from official Albania under Enver Hoxha. Although the province was formally under Serbia, it enjoyed a high degree of autonomy: from its own regional parliament to the right to university education in Albanian. Unlike the six constituent republics of Yugoslavia, which had a constitutional right to secession and were recognized by the Badinter Commission in 1991 as successor states to Yugoslavia, the Albanian majority in Kosovo was not granted the right to self-determination or secession, partly because Albanians already had a nation-state (Albania) and Kosovo did not have the status of a constituent republic in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

In the course of adapting Serbia’s territorial order to the changed framework conditions after the disintegration of Yugoslavia, some of the province’s competences were restricted in a constitutional amendment with the consent of the regional parliaments of Kosovo and Vojvodina. Thus for example the authority of Kosovo was limited with the national defense. This was countered by secessionist efforts by the UÇK, which successfully internationalized the conflict.

Succession, restitution and reparation

All successor states have undertaken to return certain cultural assets to the respective country of origin. However, the process of restitution is often lengthy. Various succession agreements exist.

There has been little or no discussion of the extent of compensation or reparations paid to war victims or the settlement of war damages.

International conflicts with states outside the former Yugoslav space

Conflicts with Greece

Name dispute over Macedonia

This conflict existed since the creation of the Republic of Macedonia (Makedonija) from the Yugoslav constituent republic of Macedonia in 1991, because there is a Greek region of Macedonia (Makedonía). Greece feared separatist influences in the north. Therefore, an interim compromise was reached in 1993 that the successor state would be recognized under the makeshift international official country name The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M.). This issue was in foreseeable resolution by 2015 in the framework of the Western Balkans Conferences, but was subjected to renewed bilateral tensions by the events of the EU refugee crisis on the Balkan route. The conflict ended in February 2019, when the state adopted the new name of Northern Macedonia.

Conflicts with Italy

Historical background to the conflicts with Italy

Between 1943 and 1950, and in a further surge after 1954, between 200,000 and 350,000 Italians migrated from Yugoslav-controlled areas (such as from the Free Territory of Trieste) to Italian areas. Conversely, many Slovenes and Croats migrated to Yugoslavia.

The different perceptions of this movement were also reflected in the linguistic regulations: in Yugoslavia, for example, the Italian emigrants were called “optants” (similar to the South Tyrolean optants), whereas in Italy they were called “exiles” or “expellees” (Ital. and Croat. esuli).

Slovenian-Italian conflicts

With Slovenia’s accession to the EU, Slovenia undertook to make compensation payments for the expulsion of the Italian population. However, Italy refused to accept these payments, as many displaced persons still do not wish to relinquish ownership of their former possessions. Slovenia therefore paid the compensation into a specific account, which still contains a considerable sum, which has never been accepted by the Italian State.

Italian nationality law

In 2006, the Italian government under Silvio Berlusconi amended the citizenship law, which now provides that all Italians living outside Italian territory are entitled to Italian citizenship retrospectively, even for the period before 1945. The Croatian President and Prime Minister were critical of this because it would tempt long-established Croatian citizens to change their citizenship for economic reasons. Croatia sees this as an opportunity to take over Croatian property more easily.

Foibe Massacre

The term Foibe massacre refers to war crimes that occurred during and after the Second World War. At that time, Yugoslav partisans committed revenge crimes against the Italian population in the Istrian and Dalmatian coastal areas. The victims were thrown into karst caves, so-called Foiben. The victims of these massacres were mainly non-communists who opposed communist Yugoslavia or were even considered a possible danger by the new rulers. Other motives were ethnic cleansing measures against the Italian-speaking part of the population and personal acts of revenge. Exact numbers of victims are not known; estimates by various historians range from 5,000 to 21,000 dead, partly including Italians who perished in the Yugoslav camps.

On the 60th anniversary of the Paris Peace Conference, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano spoke of the Foibe massacre as a “barbarism of the century”. He complained of “bloodthirsty Slav hatred”, “ethnic cleansing” and “annexationist tendencies”. Croatian President Stjepan Mesić reacted with dismay to such statements from the Italian side. He said that the signs of open racism, historical revisionism and political revanchism were unmistakable and that it was difficult to reconcile this with the declared desire to improve bilateral relations between the two states.[58]

See also

  • Treaty of Rapallo
  • List of territorial disputes

Web links

Individual references

  1. ICTY indictment against Slobodan Milošević, paragraph 69 (PDF; 3.5 MB)
  2. See Amnesty International, Torture and Deliberate and Arbitrary Killings in War Zones, New York 1991; Hannes Grandits/Christian Promitzer, “Former Comrades” at War. Historical Perspectives on “Ethnic Cleansing” in Croatia, in: Joel M. Halpern/David A. Kideckel (eds.), Neighbors at War. Anthropological Perspectives on Yugoslav Ethnicity, Culture and History, University Park, PA 2000, p. 125 ff.
  3. United Nations Mission of Observers in Prevlaka (UNMOP), at (mission materials).
  4. Dusica Tomovic: Montenegro, Croatia, Spat Over Adriatic Oil Probes. On:, 4 November 2014.
  5. Bosnian claims to the Bay of Kotor. Reportage, Adelheid Wölfl, in: der Standard online, 30 January 2015
  6. Nedim Tuno, Admir Mulahusić, Mithad Kozličić, Zvonko Orešković: Border reconstruction of the Sutorina exit of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Adriatic Sea by using old maps. n.d. (pdf,, accessed 25 April 2013).
  7. Crna Gora: Završeno razgraničenje s BiH. On: Al Jazeera Balkans, 25 December 2014.
  8. Elvira M. Jukix: Bosnia-Montenegro Border Row Heats up. On:, 22 January 2015.
  9. Elvira M. Jukic, Dusica Tomovic: Bosnia, Montenegro End Dispute Over Borders. On:, 15 May 2015.
  10. Montenegro-Bosnia border treaty signed in Vienna. In: Salzburger Nachrichten online, 26 August 2015, accessed 1 September 2015.
  11. Western Balkans Conference – Border Agreement between Bosnia and Montenegro. In: Tiroler Tageszeitung online, 23 August 2015.
  12. Pelješac Bridge to Be Constructed Within 3.5 Years.( [accessed 8 May 2017]).
  13. The opinions of the EC Arbitration Commission (“Badinter Commission”) (English)
  14. a b Slovenski zahtjev je nemoguć (4 January 2009)
  15. Vlada RH. Izvješće o provedbi plana provedbe Sporazuma o stabilizaciji i pridruživanju između Republike Hrvatske i Europskih zajednica i njihovih država članica za rujan 2006. godine@1@2Template:Dead link/ no longer available, search web archives ) Info: Thelink was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
  17. MVPEI RH. Press Release 203/06 Minister of Foreign Affairs Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović on the recent events on the left bank of the Mura River(Memento of 7 July 2009 in the Internet Archive)
  18. RTV SLO. Rupel in Kitarovićeva s pomirjenim tonom
  19. Ministrstvo za zunajne zadeve (dr. Dimitrij Rupel). Bijela knjiga o granici između Republike Slovenije i Republike Hrvatske(Memento of 19 September 2009 in the Internet Archive) (PDF; 3.0 MB)
  20. Joško Joras opet izvjesio slovensku zastavu na kući (27 December 2002)(Memento of 7 July 2009 in the Internet Archive)
  21. RTV SLO. hud incident na meji (22 September 2004)
  22. Vjesnik. Joras opet ilegalno prešao granicu (20 April 2006)(Memento of 13 November 2007 in the Internet Archive)
  23. Joras će dobiti ključ od rampe na prijelazu Plovanija
  24. Slovenia, a border country with a model function (Dissertation Andreas Veres, 2007), PDF, p. 185
  25. Vjesnik: Slovenci već prisvojili more koje im je sporazumom Račan-Drnovšek tek obećano?! (September 1, 2001, map included)@1@2Template:Dead link/ no longer available, search web archives ) Info: Thelink was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
  26. Vjesnik: Davor Vidas: “Rješenja iz sporazuma su bespredmetne improvizacije” (28 November 2008) (Mementoof 2 December 2008 in the Internet Archive)
  27. Vjesnik. Slovenija je 1991. predložila Hrvatskoj da granica u Piranskom zaljevu ide crtom sredine (3 September 2003)@1@2Template:Dead link/ no longer available, search web archives ) Info: Thelink was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
  28. of 24 July 2015 in the Internet Archive) of 22 July 2015 (Serbian)
  31. Marine Strauss: EU court will not intervene in Croatia-Slovenia border dispute. In: Thomson Reuters (ed.): Reuters. 31.January 2020 ( [accessed 20 April 2020]).
  32. Pahor prejel odgovor komisije glede ERC (5 March 2008)(Memento of 7 July 2009 in the Internet Archive)
  33. Rupel: Hrvaška pogajalska izhodišča prejudicirajo mejo (13 October 2008)(Memento of 29 October 2008 in the Internet Archive)
  34. Trilateral meeting between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. Agreed Minutes of 4 June 2004(Memento of 7 July 2009 in the Internet Archive) (English)
  35. Metro Portal. Sanader: ZERP ostaje na snazi, ali se neće primjenjivati (11 March 2008)
  36. Ministrstvo za zunanje zadeve. Slovenija uradno obvestila OZN o zakonu o ekološki coni in epikontinentalnem pasu (22 February 2006)(Memento of 25 April 2008 in the Internet Archive)
  37. Vjesnik. Ipak ZERP (October 5, 2007)(Memento of July 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive)
  38. Ministarstvo poljoprivrede, ribarstva i ruralnog razvoja (RH): ZERP za Uniju ne vrijedi (13 November 2006)(Memento of 22 July 2007 in the Internet Archive)
  39. Ethnic groups, Zagreb rejects Ljubljana’s plans
  40. Hrvatska i Slovenija potpisale izjavu o izbjegavanju incidenata (10 June 2005)(Memento of 8 July 2009 in the Internet Archive)
  41. Vjesnik, 29 January 2007, Nerazumna Rupelova nota (Croatian)(Memento of 23 December 2007 in the Internet Archive)
  42. Zavod 25 June
  43. Dogovor Janša – Sanader: Nerešena meja se seli v Haag (27 August 2007)
  44. Vjesnik. Odlučnost da se pregovori završe 2009. (19 December 2008)(Memento of 7 July 2009 in the Internet Archive)
  45. Pahor ne shvaća zašto Sanader želi treću osobu (23 December 2008)
  46. For mediation in the border dispute (12 January 2008)
  47. After EU veto against Croatia: pressure on Slovenia increases (19 December 2008)
  48. Globe No. 942, December 23, 2008. p. 23
  49. HRT. Tisuću godina zajedno (30 December 2008)@1@2Template:Dead link/ no longer available, search web archives ) Info: Thelink was automatically marked as broken. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
  50. Vecernji List: Unification of Slovenia and Croatia(Memento of 14 September 2009 in the Internet Archive), of 11 September 2009 (Croatian)
  51. EurActiv: Croatia’s EU accession draws closer 30 September 2009.
  52. non-official scan on of 23 February 2014 in the Internet Archive) (PDF; 1.4 MB)
  53. EU Presidency: Croatia and Slovenia agreed on border issue – EU closer to enlargement(Memento of 18 September 2015 in the Internet Archive)
  54. Reuters reportfrom 7 June 2010
  55. a b Slovenia, a border country with an exemplary function (Dissertation Andreas Veres, 2007, Ruhr-Universität Bochum), PDF, p. 158 (retrieved 11 January 2009)
  56. Croatian National Bank. OČITOVANJE HRVATSKE NARODNE BANKE O PROBLEMU DEVIZNE ŠTEDNJE HRVATSKIH GRAĐANA U LJUBLJANSKOJ BANCI (14 March 2006)(memento of 25 June 2008 in the Internet Archive)
  57. Nuklearna elektrarna Krško. Management.(Memento of 25 June 2009 in the Internet Archive)
  58. Commentary on (retrieved 20 January 2009).