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Defining the Issues

1. Defining the Issues (An analysis of what is to be discussed in the negotiation.

2. Assembling the Issues and Defining the Bargaining Mix 

a. Determine which issues are most important and which are less important. 
b. Determine whether the issues are linked together or separate. 
c. Defining Interests. 
d. Knowing Limits and Alternatives. (Our Resistance Point and Our Alternatives.) 
e. Setting Targets and Openings.

The issue for Slovenia with respect to the border dispute is about the control over the Piran Bay, the application of special circumstances rule, instead of the equidistance approach is also one of the points to be negotiated. Other territorial border disputes with Croatia are also an issue. The issues for this negotiation specifically include the power to use significant maritime areas and Slovenia’s link to High Sea (Dixon, 2013).

Assembling the issues and defining the bargaining mix.

The main issue of the negotiation is if a maritime border is created using the Equidistance approach, than the territories of Slovenia will be caught in the middle of the territories of Croatia and Italy, in addition Croatia will get a direct border with Italy. The negotiation in this case is over the territorial and maritime border of Slovenia and Croatia, the dispute over which has emerged since the countries claimed independence. The bargaining, over who is entitled to what with respect to both territorial and maritime borders is the main cause of the negotiation along which how the results are to be achieved (Kaczorowska, 2015).

Among the few issues, which have been identified as the part of the negotiation, few issues are very significant and others are less important. The land borders of Croatia and Slovenia are not largely disputed expect for a very few exceptions, this is because the land borders have been well defined in the old registry books. As the books were old, natural conditions have changed for example the courses of rivers, which acted as borders between the territories of the two countries, giving rise to land territory dispute.

The most significant issue, which would be up for negotiation, is with respect to the maritime borders in the piran bay. The borders with respect to sea were never determined between the republics in Yugoslavia. The only border, which existed with respect to the Trieste bay, was the border between Italy and former Yugoslavia according to the terms of the Osimo agreement. The dispute over the borders in the piran bay is causing regular disputes and tensions between Slovenia and Croatia. The two countries came closest to an agreement in the year 2001 but it was rejected by Slovenia and this dispute is the most significant issue for the purpose of the negotiation.

Assembling the Issues and Defining the Bargaining Mix

Both Croatia and Slovenia declared independence in the year 1991, because of the dissolution of Yugoslavia. After both the countries got an independent status, the land boundaries between the regions came to be known as international borders with respect to the principle of international borders “until possidetis iuris”. However, the countries were not able to establish clearly identified distinction between their maritime boundaries and there have been a dispute over it ever since (Benvenisti, 2012).


All the issues, which are to be negotiated for the agreement, are connected to each other. The main issue of the negotiation is the disputes, which the countries have been involved in with respect to the international boundaries. Although the dispute about the land boundary is not so significant as compared to the dispute related to the maritime boundaries of the piran bay, both the issues are related to each other as they arise out of the same source.

The border arbitration is of a crucial significance to Slovenia. The most vital interest of Slovenia with respect to this negotiation is the junction to the high sea. Slovenia is well prepared for the argument and has nothing to hide. The dispute between the two countries has caused much tension during the past few years, and Slovenia is keep to solve it finally. There is a dispute between the two countries over 470 km of shared sea territory, which is particular deterring the rights of Slovenia. In addition if the piran bay is divided according to the equitable principles Slovenia’s territories will be caught in the middle of the territories of Italy and Croatia (Tanaka &Yoshifumi, 2015).

Slovenia has claimed full control over the piran bay but a negotiation cannot be made if the parties do not have alternatives. However, Slovenia has to set limits below which they will not go with respect to their claim for the negotiation. Slovenia will not accept the divisions of the piran bay and be locked out between the territories of Italy and Croatia (Rothwell & Stephens, 2016). However, Slovenia might consider the offer of a link to high sea as it is of vital significance to them.


Slovenia should be prepared with adequate arguments and alternatives before the start of the negotiation. Their target should be fixed of gaining control over the Piron bay and this should be their first offer in the negotiation. 

The agreement will be managed according to the principles of international law. Slovenia with respect to the negotiation has demanded that the equitable principles of international law hold not be considered in this case whereas they have stressed on the rule of special circumstances to be considered by the five member’s arbitration team. According to the United Nations convention on the law of the sea Article 15 no state are allowed to extend their maritime boundaries beyond the median without an agreement when the boundaries of the states are adjacent to each other (Brownlie & Crawford, 2012). These provisions are not applicable by virtue of historic title and special circumstances. While Slovenia stressed on the second part of the provisions, Croatia has made a claim according to the first part. Croatia opted out of the arbitration agreement stating that Slovenia breached the rule of arbitration in 2015, the arbitrations should be legally binding on both the countries and it should be challenged in the international court of justice if not agreed upon (Sands & Peel, 2012).

Issue

The common practice in international law is that the parties to a dispute do not opt of agreements and treaties they have signed without significant reason. It is decided that a party is cheating if the party does not comply with the provisions they previously agreed to by citing lame reasons as excuse for such disagreement (Klabbers, 2015).

The basic common principles in the international law, is that peace between the nations should not be disturbed and measures are to be taken to ensure that peace is maintained globally. The common principles of international law provided that culture which are continuing since a long time should not be changed unless it is compulsory (Werle & Jessberger, 2014).

  1. The issue with respect to Croatia in this negotiation is also to determine the course of the sea borders in relation to the piran bay. Croatia has claimed according to the equitable principles of article 15 of the United Nations convention on law of the sea. The connected issue with respect to the Draganja river area is also a part of the negotiation on the Croatian side. The issue on the Croatian side of the negotiation is also to address the trans-border Corporation and commerce between the two countries (Bassiouni, 2014).
  2. Croatia demands a boundary to be drawn in the middle of the piran bay according to the principles of the Article 15 of the UNCLOS which tales about the principles of equidistance. Croatia does not want to give control over the piran bay to Slovenia as demanded by them, as it will be against their interest (Ryngaert, 2015).

Croatia cannot ream fixed on their targets if they want to successfully go through with the negotiation. However, Croatia would not go below their limitations for the purpose of this negotiation. Croatia will not agree in any case to the proposed full control of Slovenia over the piran bay. The alternatives, which Croatia can consider with respect to this negotiation, would be to allow Slovenia a link to the high sea at the most.


  1. The main target of Croatia with respect to this negotiation would be to ensure that the equidistance principle provided in the article 15 of UNCLOS would be complied by the arbitrators. Another main objective of Croatia with respect to this case would be to ensure that trans-border business activities are commenced between the two countries for the benefits of the public (Rothwell & Stephens, 2016).
  2. Croatia does not have a very good reputation when it comes to arbitration agreements. Croatia left the arbitration scheduled to solve the present issue related to the border disputes in the middle in 2015 stating that Slovenia has breached the terms of the arbitration without providing strong evidence. It is not sure whether they would abide by the decision of the arbitrator if it were ruled against their interest.
  3. The government of Croatia has the authority to make this agreement only if it gets 2/3 support is proved to the agreement in the parliament. The opposition is Croatia is supportive of such agreement unlike Slovenia.

Croatia is likely to stress on legal principles for the purpose of the negotiation, as they are inclined towards its interest. It is also to be noted that Croatia might not accept the ruling of the arbitrator if it is not in their favor and again opt out of the arbitration stating lame evidence.

References:

Bassiouni, M. C. (2014). International extradition: United States law and practice. Oxford University Press.

Benvenisti, E. (2012). The international law of occupation. Oxford University Press.

Brownlie, I., & Crawford, J. (2012). Brownlie's principles of public international law. Oxford University Press.

Dixon, M. (2013). Textbook on international law. Oxford University Press.

Kaczorowska-Ireland, A. (2015). Public international law. Routledge.

Klabbers, J. (2015). An introduction to international organizations law. Cambridge University Press.

Rothwell, D. R., & Stephens, T. (2016). The international law of the sea. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Rothwell, D. R., & Stephens, T. (2016). The international law of the sea. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Ryngaert, C. (2015). Jurisdiction in international law. OUP Oxford.

Sands, P., & Peel, J. (2012). Principles of international environmental law. Cambridge University Press.

Tanaka, Yoshifumi. The international law of the sea. Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Von Glahn, G., & Taulbee, J. L. (2015). Law among nations: an introduction to public international law. Routledge.

Werle, G., & Jessberger, F. (2014). Principles of international criminal law. OUP Oxford.

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[Accessed 24 February 2024].

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