Zovko: “Croatia should become a priority country for EU medical assistance after the recent earthquake in Zagreb”

Zagreb / Brussels, March 22, 2020


Member of European Parliament Željana Zovko received with great sadness and concern the news of the powerful earthquake that hit the Croatian capital Zagreb. Zovko calls on the citizens for solidarity, calmness and, above all, social responsibility:

“My thoughts are with the citizens of Zagreb in these challenging and difficult times. Once again, I urge my fellow citizens to help those most vulnerable and to remain calm. The risk of the spread of the coronavirus is still present and it is our duty as responsible citizens to comply with the instructions of the Civil Protection Directorate, the government and all competent and health institutions. I once again want to thank all members of the civil protection, health care professionals and Croatian soldiers who are working tirelessly and selflessly to handle the situation and without whose sacrifice such a swift and timely reaction would not be possible.”

Zovko calls upon the European Union to provide the appropriate coordinated assistance to Zagreb. As rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Development, Zovko has participated in the past term in the development of an improved European Union Civil Protection Mechanism. The objective of the Mechanism is to provide better and coordinated cooperation between EU Member States and to improve preparedness and response to manmade and natural disasters:

“The recent earthquakes significantly impede Croatia’s measures to fight current pandemic. Therefore, I urge Commissioner for Crisis Management Lenarčić to do everything in his power to make the European Union timely assist the Republic of Croatia and the City of Zagreb in coping with these unprecedented times. Croatia should become a priority country for European medical assistance. Its capital is heavily damaged and so are its hospitals and other medical infrastructures. In addition, Zagreb deserves all possible support to remedy the effects of this devastating and unfortunate earthquake.”

Zovko encourages the EU to use its RescEU program, upon request of Croatia, to provide response capacities and medical equipment to Zagreb to assist in damage control after the earthquake. She also urges for the use of the European Union Solidarity Fund (EUSF) that was set up to respond to major natural disasters and express European solidarity to disaster-stricken regions within Europe. 

The 5.3-magnitude earthquake has hit the capital of the Republic of Croatia, Zagreb, around 6:30 this morning at a depth of 10 kilometers. There are no fatalities so far, and the city has suffered material damage, especially in the area of Donji grad (Lower town).

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