Zovko: “President von der Leyen said that good design can improve lives, I would even add that first and foremost good design should save lives”

Brussels 19 November 2020, 

Member of the European Parliament Željana Zovko gave an opening address at the virtual conference “the stake of the Energy Transition for buildings: Fire Safety Competency”. This event was part of the European Fire Safety Week 2020 organised by the European Fire Safety Alliance.

In her welcoming remarks, Zovko stated that although the main competences regarding fire safety lay in the hands of the Member States, also at European level impactful actions can and should be taken. She said that by raising the awareness of fire safety and by exchanging views, knowledge and data between stakeholders in Europe, we can move towards a safer and more sustainable society.

Zovko said that with the European Green Deal, the EU has the ambition to render our lifestyle cleaner, more sustainable and more environmental friendly. “By decarbonizing the energy supply and by moving towards more renewable sources we address one of the key aspects to reach these goals. But we should not forget that this energy transition should happen in a secure way,” Zovko stated. She stressed that the substantial implementation of new technologies in the construction and the energy sector and the increased reliance on electricity brings additional fire safety challenges. Next to the promotion of greener living conditions, these challenges should, according to Zovko, be incorporated in our overall approach.

As adopted in a European Parliament resolution in September, Zovko believes that fire safety aspects should be considered during the different phases of the production and construction process of products and buildings. Therefore, the role of safety engineers in the energy transition process should be improved. Zovko stated that one possible way to achieve this objective is through the recently proposed initiative of the European Bauhaus. Via cooperation of designers, scientists, and architects, and via innovation and creativity, the EU wishes to realize its Green Deal in a sustainable but aesthetic way. Among the programme of this initiative are projects on natural building materials and energy efficiency.  

“President von der Leyen said “Good design can improve lives”. I would even add that first and foremost good design should save lives,” Zovko concluded.

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