Five Western Balkans EU aspirants' border rows

Following a long-standing border dispute between European Union members Croatia and Slovenia, Brussels has warned Western Balkans aspirants that they need to resolve their territorial disputes before joining the bloc.

Five Western Balkans EU aspirants' border rows

World Bulletin / News Desk

Here are the border rows of the five EU hopefuls:

Albania and Greece signed an agreement on their border in the Ionian Sea in 2009. Albania's top court squashed it the following year citing violation of the country's "rights and interests." The talks were relaunched and both sides hope to sign the deal in April. Albanian opposition and civil society groups accuse the government of planning to cede the territory, where gas and oil have been discovered, to Greece to get its support for EU membership.

Bosnia shares with EU-member Croatia a more than 1,000-kilometre long border. The two countries signed a border deal in 1999, but it was never ratified. The main issue is the demarcation at Bosnia's small port of Neum around which lie the country's 11 kilometres (seven miles) of Adriatic coastline.

In 2015 Kosovo signed a border demarcation deal with Montenegro but unlike its neighbour failed to ratify it. In Kosovo the agreement has sparked violence, including a teargas attack on parliament. The parliament is to discuss the deal Wednesday.

Montenegro and Croatia are in dispute over the ownership of uninhabited Prevlaka peninsula on the Adriatic which is not even two kilometres (a mile) long.

Serbia's main border issue is with its former province of Kosovo, whose independence it has not recognised since it was proclaimed a decade ago.

Belgrade and Zagreb have since 2003 discussed the border on the Danube river, relating to more than 11,000 hectares (27,181 acres) of land. Serbia wants the border to go through the middle of the Danube while Croatia, referring to land registry data, wants the border to cut through land claimed by both sides

The countries' leaders have said that if a deal is not reached in the next two years, the issue should be put before international arbitration.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Şubat 2018, 14:27