EU court adviser against tackling Slovenia-Croatia dispute

An adviser to the EU Court of Justice says the court lacks jurisdiction to deal with a border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia -- An adviser to the EU Court of Justice said Wednesday the court should not deal with a border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia because the issue is a matter of international and not EU law.

In an opinion, Advocate General Priit Pikamäe proposed that the court should "declare that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the action brought by Slovenia."

The statement added that “delimitation of national territory does not fall within the sphere of competence of the EU or, therefore, of the Court of Justice.”

Slovenia argues that Croatia violated EU laws when it refused to implement a 2017 international arbitration ruling in a long-standing border disagreement between the two EU nations, which stems from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Slovenian officials said Wednesday that the country insists on implementation of the border arbitration decision and would not re-negotiate the issue with Croatia.

The advocate general's advice in EU court cases is non-binding but judges usually follow it. The court is expected to make a final decision in coming months.