The European Union encourages Croatia and Slovenia to find consensus on the arbitration dispute and a process that will be effective and acceptable for both sides, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said on Tuesday in Zagreb after meeting with Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, who said he expects that the EU will remain neutral in that respect.
"Every procedure must be accepted by both parties ... so I and the EU encourage Slovenia and Croatia to find consensus in the case. The most important thing is to find a procedure that will be effective, "said Tusk.
His visit to Croatia is the first official visit of a President of the European Council in Zagreb since the Republic of Croatia became a member of the EU some two years ago.
He pointed out that border issues were sensitive, and he expressed hope that the two sides will find a solution, especially as Croatia and Slovenia, as he said, are an excellent example of partnership and cooperation in the region.
Grabar-Kitarović reiterated the position of Croatia that the arbitration process with Slovenia was "irreversibly compromised" and that the Parliament therefore adopted a unanimous decision to give the government instructions for leaving that arbitration proceeding, which the government does.
"That does not mean we do not want to solve the border issue. We will do everything in our power to remain a positive example of the cooperation of states that have one open question, but that the open question does not become a definition of their interrelationships and to show that, despite the problems we have at this time ... capable of overcoming and ultimately agree on which way to go further in solving, "the president said in a press release.
She reminded that the EC at the time of the conclusion of the arbitration agreement was not a party to the agreement but was solely helping Croatia and Slovenia to come to an end. "This is a bilateral issue, and what we expect and what we will appreciate from the EC and the Council and individual members is to put this issue in a way that does not support the position of either side, but is encouraged to find further solutions. So, to stay neutral ... ".
No justification for xenophobia towards refugees
Tusk emphasized that good cooperation between Croatia and Slovenia is particularly important in the context of the problems facing Europe, which is a migrant and refugee crisis without precedent.
The president has said that Croatia must be ready for all options in this respect and expect more refugees to move towards the Republic of Croatia. "We must show solidarity, we must also in this situation when it comes to the EU, to find ways and how to help Serbia and Macedonia, who at this moment are disposing of, at least temporarily, a large number of refugees."
It is not only about preparing the area for refugee acceptance but, as it has continued, it is necessary to discern how and how much further in co-operation with European partners. One part of migrants will likely seek political asylum, and one part will wait in the Republic of Croatia to go further to the EU.
"Institutions must be prepared to resolve what is in the domain of the MUP - asylum issues, and what is in the domain of humanitarian care of those people ... who after all they deserve to be received, to be disposed of in a worthy manner" , said Grabar Kitarović.
In her words, one should now look beyond the issue of refugee quotas because they are at the moment "as if to fire a fire with a fire extinguisher." In her words, it is extremely important to work on removing the root causes of migrants coming to the European space, which are war conflicts and poverty.
He stressed that the EU's priority is to prevent the loss of life of migrants who are trying to reach Europe through the Mediterranean. "There is no justification for hostile, racist or xenophobic reactions to migrants," he stressed.