In the bygone years, Slovenia had staunchly even made moves to prevent Croatia's accession into the European Union, until it relented in late 2009. The Croatian government is backing out of the arbitration panel that was created to resolve the Gulf of Piran border dispute between itself and Slovenia under allegations of a Slovenian judge's violation of the tribunal's impartiality rules. The issue is now back as the Croatian newspaper 'Vecerni' leaked what are supposed telephonic conversations between the Slovenian representative to the EU-backed arbitration panel, Jernej Sekolec and the Slovenian government's representative to the court, Simona Drenic.
The tribunal was set up with five judges- one each from Croatia and Slovenia and three foreign judges to decide on the disputed boundary between the two European Union member states. In the conversation between Sekolec and Drenic, which are not permitted, the former revealed confidential conversation among the judges on the court bench. The conversation revealed 75% of the waters of the Gulf of Piran would be gifted to Slovenia, as per its wishes.
Latest reports indicate both Jernej Sekolec and Simona Drenic have resigned that further implicate that the phone call indeed happened. The Slovene Prime Minister Miro Cerar had asked the two concerned to take due responsibility.
Croatia has meanwhile warned it may back out of the arbitration entirely. That may mean this would end up being a stalemate, which would end up being an advantage for the Croatians which, if according the telephonic conversation, were to be true then Croatia would stand to lose its territorial waters to its neighbour. Leaving it in a state of stalemate would in effect not give Slovenia rights in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).