Zovko: The European Parliament will vote on the status of Rijeka and on the protection of SMEs
Brussels, 11 December 2020,
The Members of the European Parliament will hold their monthly plenary session next week. Željana Zovko stated that she looks forward to the week ahead when she provided an overview of the agenda points related to her work as member of the Committee on Culture and Education and as Vice-Chair for the Committee of Foreign Affairs.
The European Parliament will cast its final vote on the Decision to amend the Union Action of the European Capitals of Culture for the cities in 2020 and 2021. With this decision, Rijeka and Galway will be able to maintain their status as Capital of Culture until the end of April 2021. “Due to the covid-19 pandemic, many activities and events needed to be cancelled or postponed, limiting the chances for these cities to capitalise their preparatory work. This extension offers an additional opportunity for the cities affected to showcase their cultural scene.” Zovko said.
Another important vote that will take place is on the new strategy for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The pandemic has hit companies hard, especially SMEs all over Europe. The European Parliament calls for an upgraded approach including better access to financing. As EPP shadow rapporteur for the opinion in the CULT committee, Zovko emphasized in the report that the cultural and tourism sector knows a high amount of SMEs and need sufficient support in these difficult times. She also ensured that the report urges for an increased attention to the digital development of SMEs and the inclusion of digital and entrepreneurial skills in education programs.
On Tuesday afternoon, Zovko will participate in a debate on the recent developments in the Eastern Partnership. The European Union is currently working on a new set of directives for their relations with the countries in our Eastern Neighbourhood Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. As standing Rapporteur for Azerbaijan, Zovko stressed that the consequences of the recent war in the South Caucasus have to be monitored closely and that for the benefit of its own security, the EU has to re-assess its position towards the region.
Zovko also pointed at the upcoming debate and resolution regarding the European Citizen’s initiative on a Minority Safepack. The initiative focuses on the safety of the national minorities, their language rights and the protection of their cultures. The initiators proposed a set of EU legal acts that enable the promotion of these objectives. Zovko welcomes the initiative as she believes that the promotion of regional languages or the protection of language communities shall respect the fundamental rights of all persons.