Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar had good reason to be optimistic at the Gymnich meeting in Stockholm last week. Today the Prime Ministers of Slovenia and Croatia agreed on the way forward to solve the bilateral border dispute.
Slovenia lifts its block on Croatia´s accession negotiations with the EU. This is a significant breaktrough for the enlargement process with the Western Balkan countries.
Swedish officials are repeating the official position: it is the governments of the two countries who have now made significant steps forward.
What role the Swedish Presidency has played (as well as Olli Rehn), we will probably know better when the accession negotiations with Croatia are concluded. However, I am not surprised.
“One should also not exclude more progress on the Western Balkans than seems possible right now”, I wrote 28 June. The post continued: “Last Monday, Carl Bildt skillfully turned up the pressure on Slovenia and Croatia to resolve their border conflict.”