Zovko at the public discussion about the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament
Zagreb, 5 March 2018 – Member of the European Parliament Željana Zovko has participated today in the public discussion “About Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament”, organised by the European Parliament Information Office in the Republic of Croatia in partnership with the University College for International Relations and Diplomacy Dag Hammarskjöld.
The public discussion was opened by the dean of the University College Joško Klisović and the Head of the Croatian EP Information Office Violeta Staničić. Activities of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (AFET) were presented by Croatian Members of the European Parliament.
MEPs Željana Zovko, Dubravka Šuica, Tonino Picula and Jozo Radoš presented concrete priority activities of the Committee, after which a discussion developed with the audience.
MEP Zovko said: “My activities are primarily focused on higher visibility and more intensive engagement of the EU in the Western Balkans. Active EU support contributes to peace and stability on the Union outer borders, where the Republic of Croatia is located as well. In the recently adopted EU Enlargement Strategy for the Western Balkans, the Commission announced additional financial and administrative support to the Western Balkans countries’ European aspirations, what will certainly reduce impact of the third non-European countries.“
MEP Šuica stated: “AFET has a remarkable role in confirming the EU as a leading global actor. As the AFET Vice-Chair I may confirm that activities of this Committee are extremely important for presence of the EU in the international order and for promotion of friendly relations with the third countries. AFET establishes various work groups in an attempt to respond to challenges specific for some particular areas in the world. I chair the AFET work group for Eastern partnership, which assesses the relations of the European Union with six Eastern partnership countries (Ukraine, Moldavia, Georgia, Belorussia, Azerbaijan and Armenia), taking care of regulation of the Russian influence in the countries willing to cooperate with the EU. We must not forget the impact made by this Committee in South-eastern Europe, where our rapporteurs are committed to supporting and promoting integration of South-eastern European countries and the EU, thus helping improvement of relations and the progress of those countries.“
MEP Picula said: “We live in time of conflicts raging at many spots of the 15,000 km long outer borders of the European Union. Besides, some fundamental values are denied within the Union itself. Problems in functioning of the EU institutions, driven by the refuges’ crisis, brought into question the success made before, such as opened borders and freedom of movement. Therefore, the common foreign, security and defence policy of the EU must not be the weakest spot of the European integration – that is a demand of two thirds of the EU citizens.“
MEP Radoš stated: “The European Parliament has been intensively working on the EU enlargement issue, security and migration. All three of the issues are closely related with the Western Balkans. I have been promoting the idea that membership status of all six countries of the Western Balkans is in the interest of the European Union in economic and security terms. Even though every country should be evaluated individually on the basis of its own accomplishments, I believe that an integral approach of the European Union to the region is welcomed, considering inter-relations between the countries and their similarities. The European Union now has neither a clear vision nor strength enough to take over the political initiative in this part of Europe. As a member of the Committee on Transport, I have been actively working on the energy and transportation policy in South-eastern Europe.“
The public discussion was moderated by Katarina Alvir, foreign affairs reporter from Nova TV.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (AFET) has 73 members, who work on creation and adoption of the EU external and security policy and supervision of its implementation. AFET is focused on the ways of applying for the European financial aid. The Committee is also involved in adoption of all international agreements concluded by the European Union. It promotes the common values of the EU abroad in close cooperation with the two sub-committees – Sub-committee for Human Rights and Sub-committee for Security and Defence.
Source: European Parliament Information Office in the Republic of Croatia, Zagreb