Zovko in Washington as EPP Group Vice President to strengthen transatlantic relations
Washington DC, 13 May 2022
This week, Member of the European Parliament Željana Zovko travelled to Washington DC for meetings with legislators, think tanks, diplomats and representatives from the private sector. As Vice President of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, Zovko is mandated to strengthen the relations with parliamentary assemblies in other international organisations and the US Congress and to maintain communication channels with EPP likeminded partners.
Zovko has met with Senators Daimes and Johnson and with Congressmen from both the Democratic Party, namely Representatives Cohen and Costa, and the Republican Party, such as Representatives McMorris Rodgers, Duncan and Lesko. “The American colleagues showed great interest in the current security situation in Europe”. Zovko said, adding that they discussed the developments in Ukraine and the consequences of the Russian invasion, including European sanctions, energy and food security, the refugees hosted in the EU. “The unfortunate attack to the freedom and independence of Ukraine has resulted in the highest unity between the EU and US in a long time. Everyone I spoke with, has welcomed this joint stance and looks forward to build on it.
At the Department of State, Zovko had meetings with Karen McDonald, Deputy Assistant Secretary for democracy and human rights, Ethan Rozenzweig, Director on cultural matters and student exchanges and Gabriel Escobar, Deputy Assistant Secretary on Western Balkans. On the agenda were discussions regarding new initiatives to bolster transatlantic student exchanges and professional exchanges between legislative staff. In addition, Zovko has expressed the need for higher EU-US efforts in preserving the stability in the Western Balkans as a security matter for the European continent. She emphasised her call to increase the mediation efforts in Bosnia and Herzegovina to find an agreement on the needed reform of the election law.
In further meetings with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the German Marshall Fund, CSIS, Heritage Foundation and AICGS, Zovko also looked ahead to the political prospects of the upcoming midterm elections and how this outcome can influence the EU and its relations with the US.