The bill defines Slovenia as a successor to the 1968 agreement between Italy and the former Yugoslavia, giving it the right to protect its own interests in the continental shelf by declaring an ecological zone
The government adopted a bill on the declaration of a protective ecological zone and continental shelf in the Adriatic on Thursday, 25 August, its media office said in a press release.
The bill defines Slovenia as a successor to the 1968 agreement between Italy and the former Yugoslavia, giving it the right to protect its own interests in the continental shelf by declaring an ecological zone.
The parliament is expected to discuss the bill as early as September. According to initial responses, it enjoys strong support among the parliamentary parties.
The Environment Ministry has recently explained that the main reason for declaring an ecological zone is to allow effective measures to protect the marine ecosystem, Slovenia's territorial waters and the coastal areas.
Sloveniadecided to declare the ecological zone in order to protect its rights at sea even outside its territorial waters.
This has become a burning issue recently, after Croatia's unilateral declaration of the ecological and fisheries zone, Italy's intent to declare an ecological zone and the talks between Croatia and Italy regarding the continental shelf, which excluded Slovenia.
The bill does not include fishery provisions. It would allow other countries to obtain all rights of overflight, cable and pipe installations, as well as other lawful use of the sea protected by international law.
The final outside border of the protective ecological zone is to be decided in an agreement with Slovenia's neighbours in line with the international law.
Until an agreement is reached, the temporary border runs along the 45 degrees 10 minute parallel, as defined by the agreement on transport and border cooperation with Croatia (SOPS).
The sea border with Italy has already been set with the Osimo Agreements between Italy and Yugoslavia in 1975 defining territorial waters and the 1968 Italy-Yugoslavia agreement, of which Slovenia is a successor, setting down continental shelf and ecological protective zone.
Source: Slovene Press Agency STA