Institute of International Politics and Economics, Belgrade
Geostrategic and International Legal Determinants of the Croatian Dominance in the Eastern Adriatic
In the course of the article authors examine foreign policy activities of the Republic of Croatia regarding the delimitation processes with their ex-Yugoslav neighbors, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, in the Adriatic region. Authors start from the thesis that Croatia’s aim is to reach a position of strategic dominance in the Eastern Adriatic Sea through these processes. Croatia is interpreting international legal rules on maritime delimitation narrowly and distortedly, and disregards principles of equity and good-neighborliness. It also relies upon historic titles that have no basis in the practice of delimitation of former Yugoslav republics. At the same time vital interests of its neighbors for equitable results in these delimitations is in stark contrast with Croatia’s negligible gains for its economy which would proceed from delimitation favored by Croatia. From all these arguments authors conclude that the primary motivation for Croatia’s arguments in territorial delimitation processes in the Eastern Adriatic region is not the preservation of equitable application of international law principles, the preservation of good relations with neighbors or the status quo in view of wider integration processes, but a wish to reach a position of geostrategic dominance through comparative weakening of geostrategic positions of its respective neighbors.