Zovko: These are defining times for the EU’s geopolitical role in the years to come
Brussels, 23 March 2022
The Members of the European Parliament have gathered in Brussels to discuss and vote on legislative work during a two-day plenary session. The agenda focuses on the consequences of the security situation in the East of Europe. In a special intervention, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the European Parliament regarding the international response to the Russian war against Ukraine. Members also debated on the outcome of the European Council in Versailles on 10 and 11 March and discussed the agenda of the upcoming meeting of the European heads of states and governments on Thursday 24 March. In addition, a debate is planned on Thursday morning on the needed actions to ensure affordable and sustainable energy.
Željana Zovko, Vice Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, stated that the European Union is in a watershed moment that will define the European geopolitical relations in the coming years. “With this week’s adoption on the Strategic Compass, the EU has already taken determined steps towards a stronger European security and defence policy. Also by taking strategic measures and sanctions responding to the tragedy in Ukraine, the European Union has shown a united front, enlarging its geopolitical role and global influence.” Zovko said. She welcomed the announced participation of US President Joe Biden to the Council meeting. “By extending the invitation to the US President, the EU shows its commitment to strong transatlantic cooperation and the importance of coordinated actions against Russia,” she stated.
Commenting on the upcoming Council meeting, Zovko applauded the success of Prime Minister Plenkovic to add a discussion on Bosnia and Herzegovina to the agenda. Earlier, Croatian diplomatic efforts also managed to include a reference to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the new Strategic Compass, calling to support the principles of equality and non-discrimination of all citizens and constituent peoples as enshrined in the Bosnia and Herzegovina constitution. Zovko said that after the latest rounds of negotiations on the electoral law, it is crucial to show continued European support to the different parties to come to a constructive compromise that respects the rights of all constituent peoples as mentioned in the Dayton Paris Peace Agreement.
The European Council will also discuss the rising energy prices and means to secure energy accessibility. Zovko called for a European response to this energy crisis. “Next to measures blocking the current price increases, the EU should invest in a wider diversification of its energy supplies,” Zovko stated and added that Croatia can play a front role in the provision of liquefied natural gas (LNG) via its new terminal on Krk.