Zovko participated in discussion on interpellation on this summer’s fires in Croatia and Southern Europe

Strasbourg, 14 September 2017 – Member of the European Parliament Željana Zovko has participated today with the European Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Cretu in the  plenary discussion on interpellation on the fires which affected this summer Croatia, particularly Dalmatia and Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and France.

As a co-signatory of interpellation Zovko pointed out to the scope of damage inflicted by fires in Southern Europe, particularly Croatia and Dalmatia. According to currently available data, the damage amounts to kn 42 million only in the Split-Dalmatia County during the huge fire nearby Split, excluding the woods affected by the fire. However, this amount shall be much higher after the data related to the affected areas in Dalmatia and the rest of Croatia are added.

Zovko expressed her gratitude to all volunteering and public fire-fighting brigades and to all Croatian citizens, who were inexhaustibly, bravely and continuously assisting in protection of property, nature and human lives.

Furthermore, Zovko pointed out to weaknesses of the existing solidarity mechanisms and EU instruments, which are not sufficiently flexible so as to be able to provide adequate aid to the member-countries affected by big wood fires.

Zovko closed her speech with questions to the European Commission: “When do you plan to mobilise the European Solidarity Fund in order to help Croatia and other member-countries? Do you believe that the fires of this summer call for a unique legislative framework, an instrument and a body which may provide support in coordination with the policies and preventive measures in fight against such disasters?“

Members of the European Parliament filed in July the interpellation explaining that the European Union lacked a satisfactory legislative and financial framework to protect the member-countries from natural disasters.

They furthermore required the European Commission to mobilise the European Solidarity Fund in order to enable the member-countries to utilize the purposed funds for fire-fighting and for remedying the damage as efficiently as possible.

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