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Slovenia, Italy, Croatia write joint statement on North Adriatic co-operation

The Foreign Ministers of Slovenia, Croatia and Italy, namely Anže Logar, Gordan Grlić Radman and Luigi Di Maio, signed today in Brdo, near Kranj, a joint statement on trilateral cooperation in the northern Adriatic. As Minister Logar explained, the document represents the basis for strengthening cooperation in areas that are essential for the three countries.

At the press conference that followed, Minister Logar expressed his satisfaction with the completion today of the first phase of cooperation between the three countries in the northern Adriatic. “By signing the joint statement, we have laid the foundations for strengthening mutual co-operation in areas that are essential for the three countries,” he stressed.

The Slovenian minister added that he and his Croatian and Italian counterparts were aware of concrete proposals for co-operation, including expanded co-operation between the North Adriatic ports and the joint promotion of the Adriatic waterway.

“The Adriatic Sea, as a semi-enclosed sea with a high density of maritime traffic and a very sensitive ecosystem, requires close cooperation of the three coastal states,” Logar stressed, appearing optimistic about future cooperation. He added that all open issues were resolved at the time of the agreement on the joint statement.

Tripartite co-operation between the northern Adriatic countries began last year with the announcement by Croatia and Italy of plans to declare their exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic Sea. Zagreb and Rome also informed Slovenia of their intention, which, in accordance with the arbitral tribunal’s decision, has no right to declare its exclusive economic zone.

Croatia already declared its zone in February, while the procedure is still ongoing in Italy. By declaring their EEZ, both countries will secure the right to build artificial islands in the Adriatic and use marine and wind energy. At a December meeting in Trieste, the three countries’ foreign ministers adopted a joint statement on co-operation in managing the Adriatic, but did not sign it. The statement states that Slovenia, Italy and Croatia, as countries bordering the common sea, share the vision of the Adriatic Sea as a bridge that unites people in the region and as a source of prosperity for all.

In meetings with Croatia and Italy, the Slovenian side stressed that the planned declaration of the exclusive economic zones of Croatia and Italy should in no way prejudice Slovenian rights under international and European law.

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