Zovko: The EU and US together can play a key role in public diplomacy for vaccine distribution

Brussels, 10 May 2021 

The European Parliament is working on a report that will outline its expectations for the future of the EU-US relations. Today, a first draft of the report was the topic of discussion of the Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. 

Zeljana Zovko, who is the shadow rapporteur on the report for the EPP, presented her views during an intervention and underlined that the close cooperation with the US is crucial for security and defence of the European Union. She stated that while Europa needs to increase its defence capabilities, NATO remains a key pillar for the European security structure.

Zovko also welcomed the engagement of the US administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina together with EU delegation on finding a way out of the impasse where Bosnia and Herzegovina is twenty-five years after Dayton. This position was reflected in the letter by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and was repeated in a statement by the High Representative Borrell yesterday on the eve of the meeting of the EU Council for Foreign Affairs. 

Another issue raised by Zovko is the need to restore the rules-based international order via increased activity and reformation of multilateral organizations. “This counts especially for the World Health organisation and its structures and means to fight unprecedented crises as we currently face.” Zovko said.

“The pandemic highlights the need for global health governance. The EU and US can play a key role through improved cooperation on public diplomacy as regards the production and distribution of vaccines.” She added. According to Zovko, cooperation is also needed for rebuilding our economies and ensuring fair trade.

Zovko also stated that both the EU and the US share challenges caused by rapid technological change and increasing cyber threats, providing an opportunity for a transatlantic agenda on new technologies and tech regulation, ensuring a digital transformation.

She concluded by calling for more interparliamentary diplomacy and cooperation. “Both partners also share the interest to strengthen democracy domestically and globally. Interparliamentary diplomacy and cooperation could lead to joint responses to fight hate speech and disinformation at large scale.”

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