(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – People in Slovenia are divided on whether a border dispute with Croatia should be brought before an international tribunal, according to a poll by FUDS. 37.6 per cent of respondents would vote in favour of the idea, while 32.9 per cent would reject it.

Since the end of the former Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia and Croatia have disputed rights over the Piran Bay in the Adriatic Sea. Slovenia claims control over the entire bay, while Croatia argues that it should manage half of it. The argument has hampered Croatia’s potential accession to the European Union (EU). Slovenia, which entered the EU in 2004, has blocked Croatia’s accession talks over the border disagreement.

In November 2009, the Slovenian and Croatian governments agreed to an arbitration agreement. On May 3, the Slovenian legislature called for a referendum on whether the case should be heard by an international tribunal. The vote will take place on Jun. 6.

Critics have pointed out that the convoluted text on the ballot could render the vote a futile exercise. The question reads: "Do you support the implementation of the Law on the Ratification of the Arbitration Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Slovenia and the Government of the Republic of Croatia, which was adopted by the Slovenian Parliament at its session of 19 April 2010, becoming valid?"

On May 7, Slovenian foreign minister Samuel Zbogar is predicted a victory for the "Yes" side, declaring, "I think we will manage to convince people that the treaty is good, so good it pays off to go to the polls and cast a yes vote."

Polling Data

How would you vote in the Jun. 6 referendum on whether to approve an agreement to bring the border dispute with Croatia before an international arbitration tribunal?

In favour




Not sure


Source: FUDS
Methodology: Telephone interviews with 906 Slovenian adults, conducted from May 3 to May 6, 2010. Margin of error is 3.2 per cent.