Zovko asked the Commission for a reaction to uphold the freedom of religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brussels/Split, 19 May 2020
During today’s exchange of views with Commissioner Neighbourhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi, the members of the European Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs discussed the Parliament’s report on the Eastern Partnership Program that was adopted today. In addition they debated on COVID-19 related EU support in the Neighbourhood, Turkey, and on the future external financing instruments.
EPP Vice-coordinator for Foreign Affairs Željana Zovko also participated in the discussions. In her intervention, she said that the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit is of great significance celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Partnership Program. Zovko stated that the Parliamentary report provides a clear message for the region, including the Parliament’s appreciation for the progress made, but also highlights the open questions and challenges that the Eastern Neighbourhood still faces. As standing rapporteur for Azerbaijan, Zovko was particularly interested in the developments of the negotiations of the EU-Azerbaijan Framework agreement. She asked the Commissioner how he sees the future of the agreement and whether the upcoming Summit created a new stimulus to continue the negotiations.
Zovko also asked the Varhelyi for the European Commission’s official reaction regarding the serious threat to the Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cardinal Puljic. Ahead of last Saturday’s Mass for the commemoration of the victims of the Bleiburg tragedy in Sarajevo, Cardinal Puljic was the victim of media attacks impeding his right for religious freedom and the right for the culture of remembrance. Zovko reminded her colleagues that the European Parliament adopted a resolution in September 2019 on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe that condemns acts of aggression perpetrated by totalitarian regimes.