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Croatian exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic to be declared

Croatian exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic Sea

Croatia’s Adriatic coast

ZAGREB, Dec 13 (Hina) – Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Saturday that on Monday his government would adopt a draft decision to declare an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic.

Plenkovic said on Twitter that he had “consultations with Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte regarding the declaration of a Croatian exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic” and that “the Croatian government will adopt a report on the process of consultations and a draft decision on the declaration of an exclusive economic zone on Monday.”

The ruling HDZ party caucus said earlier this month that the parliament would declare an exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic by the end of the month.

The foreign ministers of Croatia and Italy, Gordan Grlic Radman and Luigi Di Maio, held talks in Zagreb in late November and agreed on declaring exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic together.

Back in 2003, Croatia declared an ecological and fisheries protection zone (EFPZ) which included 99 percent of elements of an exclusive economic zone, excluding the possibility of building artificial islands and exploiting wind and sea power.

It was determined by subsequent decisions in 2004, 2006 and 2008 that the EFPZ would not apply to EU member-states until a common agreement was reached in a European spirit.

After Croatia joined the EU, the EFPZ, just like all exclusive economic zones and fisheries and ecological zones of other EU member-states, became part of the EU’s waters, where rules of the common fisheries policy are in force and where EU member-states cooperate in protecting the marine environment, the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs said after the talks between the Croatian and Italian foreign ministers.

The long-standing cooperation with Italy in the implementation of the common fisheries policy as well as cooperation in the protection of the marine environment have resulted in an agreement on a harmonised declaration of exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic, the ministry said at the time.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Anze Logar earlier this week held talks with Di Maio on relations between the two countries and they called for a trilateral meeting at the level of foreign ministers with Croatia on the decision of the Italian and Croatian governments to declare exclusive economic zones in the Adriatic, the Slovenian Foreign Ministry said.

It noted that Di Maio and Logar had agreed that the Italian side should keep Slovenia informed of the state of the legislative procedure on the declaration of the exclusive economic zone in the Adriatic.

The Italian side guaranteed that the declaration of the exclusive economic zone would be conducted in line with the principles of international law of the sea and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and with full participation by Slovenia and Croatia, with the aim of ensuring the highest possible degree of protection of the Adriatic Sea, the Slovenian ministry said.

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has confirmed that he discussed on Saturday the intentions of Croatia and Italy to declare economic zones in the Adriatic Sea with the chiefs of the Croatian and Italian governments.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Jansa talked with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic about the plans of the two neighbouring countries, the Slovenian government wrote on Twitter, as carried by Slovenian media outlets on Sunday, saying that Italy’s, Slovenia’s and Croatia’s foreign ministers would meet to discuss the topic on December 19 in Venice.

Jansa wrote on Twitter that he had talked with Plenkovic and Conte about declaring protected economic zones in the Adriatic in the light of good neigbourly relations, as well as about the conclusions of the EU summit that ended on Friday.

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