Zovko: The Eastern partnership report builds forward on the constructive cooperation and prepares us for the next decades to come
Brussels/Split, 19 May 2020
In today’s Committee of Foreign Affairs meeting in the European Parliament, the members voted on the report on the Eastern Partnership, in the run-up to the June 2020 Summit. As standing rapporteur for the relations with Azerbaijan and as EPP Vice-coordinator for Foreign Affairs Željana Zovko believes the report sends a clear message to the partner countries in the Eastern Neighbourhood by welcoming the progress made by the region and pointing out the pending challenges. “The Eastern Partnership Programme celebrates this year its 10th anniversary. This timely report clearly embodies the reflection of our close relationship with the region. With the common understanding we gained in the first 10 years, we can now build on a fruitful and constructive cooperation for the next decades to come,” Zovko stated. In the afternoon, Zovko will also participate in an exchange of views with Commissioner Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, on the Eastern Partnership policy, on COVID-19 related EU support in the Neighbourhood, and Turkey, and on the future external financing instruments.
Another point on the agenda this before noon was the AFET Opinion of Gender in foreign policy. As shadow rapporteur for the file, Zovko represents the European People’s Party in the negotiations of the file and will work on the improvement of the gender balance in the EU’s foreign and security policies.
In her intervention, emphasising the timeliness of the report that covers an often forgotten or underestimated topic, Zovko presented the EPP policy line and elaborated on her own amendments. Zovko stressed that next to the fact that research has repeatedly shown that gender equality in foreign policy contributes to the sustainability of peace, and the effectiveness of peace negotiations, this file is also important to highlight the existing imbalances for women in leadership and other key positions within foreign and security policy fields.
Zovko believes the text should focus on two levels, internal and external. “Firstly, we should increase the percentage of women in EU’s internal decision-making mechanisms and management positions. This counts for the EEAS, CSDP missions, EU delegations. Secondly, we should enhance the gender mainstreaming in our cooperation with partner States, including in our neighbourhood and development policies and regarding conflict prevention, and post-conflict reconstruction,” Zovko said.