Zovko shares her experience on the Union Civil Protection Mechanism in Zagreb

Zagreb, 29 April

Member of the European Parliament Željana Zovko has had the honour to be a guest speaker at a conference in Zagreb organised by the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning. The main topic of the Third Open Partner Dialogue is fire protection and the risk of increased seismic activity affecting energy renewal of buildings

. Ms Zovko was asked to speak about one of her latest achievements in the European Parliament, namely my contributions to “RescEU”, and the updated European Civil Protection Mechanism. On this event she was strongly supported the idea to create a European day of fire prevention on 31 May, a day that also commemorates the big fire of Zagreb in 1731.

She pointed out that Croatia has known several severe cases of wildfire. These horrible incidents caused material damage for thousands of Croatians and emotional damage for the entire nation. But Croatia was not alone, all over Europe, manmade and natural disasters caused havoc. In autumn 2017, the commission proposed to strengthen the existing Union Civil Protection Mechanism in the light of disaster trends, including extreme weather. The main idea was to improve disaster prevention and preparedness capabilities; to improve collective response capacity at European level; and to ensure the flexibility and efficiency of the Mechanism.

As MEP in the development committee (DEVE), Zovko was closely involved in this legislative work. She drafted a part of the text and negotiated with her counterparts of other political parties to conclude a document that evaluates the commission proposal and suggests in its turn new provisions. She managed to emphasise among other things that the European Civil Protection Pool shall only be complementary and not a substitute to existing capacities in the requesting Member State, without prejudice to the primary responsibility of Member States for disaster prevention and response on their territory.

Furthermore, Ms Zovko mentioned the necessary promotional events that she organised to raise awareness of the mechanism, such as organized a conference in Split, on July 10, 2018, where also European Commissioner Stylianides was present. Also this event of 29 April is a good example. The open dialogues of the partners bring together representatives of state and local government, the academic community and expert public, the construction and energy sector and the accompanying industry on the thematic workshops organized by the Ministry.

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