Last month Slovenia threatened to block Croatia’s accession to the European Union over an unresolved banking dispute. In an email interview, Kristof Bender, the deputy chairman of the European Stability Initiative, discussed relations between Croatia and Slovenia in the context of the European Union.
WPR: How have Slovenia-Croatia relations evolved since the breakup of Yugoslavia?
Kristof Bender: Most of the time relations between Slovenia and Croatia have been good, particularly if measured by post-Yugoslav standards. Exceptions include a row over the management, ownership and financing of a jointly operated nuclear power plant; a dispute over more than $210 million in deposits held by Croatian citizens in the Slovenian bank Ljubljanska Banka that were not paid out when the bank pulled out of Croatia in the early 1990s; and a border dispute dating back to independence that involves a few sections of the land border, the division of territorial waters and the question of Slovenia’s access to the high seas.