A landmark decision is expected today on a 26-year old border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia. But few expect it will be bring the saga over the Bay of Piran to an end.

On a map it covers a tiny slither of space, but it has always had outsized political significance, holding up Croatia’s accession prospects for years. Now the tussle is in the EU family, and the union will not want it to mark another turn for the worse in the fragile Balkans. Read more

Sometimes Luxembourg provides something for all. The European Court of Justice’s ruling on the parameters of free trade agreements – which determined that only parts of FTAs required ratification at a national level – made nearly everyone happy.

The European Commission was delighted by its confirmed ability to agree trade deals on an EU level. But rebellious Walloons – who held a free trade deal with Canada hostage – welcomed the news that they could still make mischief over some issues such as investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms. Read more

Perhaps the only phrase more stultifying than “any other business” is “General Affairs Council”. But that could change later today. Frans Timmermans will park the European Commission’s long-running fight with Poland over the rule of law in front of ministers during an “AOB” at the unfortunately named “GAC”. For the first time, member states will have a chance to officially respond – or not – to the growing problems surrounding Poland’s Law and Justice government. It is a small, but significant step from the commissioner responsible for fundamental rights. The long-term concerns about rule of law in the country – and the wider worries about democracy in countries such as Hungary – are arguably an even larger problem for the bloc than Brexit. It is hard to have a single market if there are fundamental worries about, say, the justice systems in some member states. For the past 18 months, it has been the commission leading the charge on the Polish issue. Exchanging letters, arguments and occasionally insults with peers in Warsaw. Now ministers will have their chance, too. 1648 and all that Historically, ministers have been reluctant to interfere in the affairs of other member states, especially when sat around a table in Brussels. Whether those who have been privately or informally critical of Poland will pipe up will be clear only later today, although the latest indications are that many will. (One thing is certain: Poland’s minister will offer a comprehensive retort to Mr Timmermans’ points.) There is some unease at the topic being raised with ministers at all. After all, if the commission thinks Poland has a problem, it has a power to act by itself. The commission can trigger Article 7 – the so-called “nuclear” (by bureaucrat standards) option – which could eventually result in Poland losing its right to vote as a member state. But this drastic move would still have to be approved by national capitals. To be blunt: involving ministers now keeps open the option of further action later. Email duncan.robinson@ft.com Twitter @duncanrobinson

Change on treaty change Emmanuel Macron met Angela Merkel met in Berlin. After cries of “Macron, Macron”, the two leaders opened the door to treaty change. Read more

An adviser at the EU’s top court had the first go at trying to define Uber and came up with a simple answer to what is a complex question: in short, Uber should be treated as a transport company.

The reasoning is clear and thoughtful. The full opinion can be read here in French. The edited highlights, in English, are below. Read more

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With the French election on Sunday, the big names came out to urge voters to back their horse. Read more

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Standing in front of 10 Downing Street, the prime minister thundered that Britain had been “misrepresented” by a perfidious foreign press and that “threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials”. Read more

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The opening gap is considerable The EU and UK are a distance apart on core divorce questions. For all the goodwill, there is a clear clash on what citizen rights to guarantee (continued EU rights versus UK rights for non-EU migrants). The UK side disagree with the premise of an exit bill. There is a big gap on what a “phased approach” means. And there are more hidden, but perhaps more fundamental, differences over the ambition of a trade deal, and when it will come. Read more

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There could be up to 5m fewer votes this year compared to 2012. History shows that a low turnout increases uncertainty about who will make the final run-off. It lowers the threshold required to qualify, which makes a François Fillon or Jean-Luc Mélenchon-shaped upset more likely. Read more

By Richard Milne

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