Croatian MEP Calls for EU Assistance to Western Balkans in Fight Against Coronavirus

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 20, 2020 – Croatian member of the European Parliament Željana Zovko has asked the European Commission to use funding from the EU Solidarity Fund to provide assistance to Western Balkan countries in the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The European People’s Party (EPP) group said in a statement that Zovko, a member of the HDZ party and deputy EPP coordinator on the Foreign Affairs Committee, on Thursday welcomed the EC’s proposal for changing existing rules on the use of the EU Solidarity Fund but also asked that it be expanded to include the Western Balkans because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a rapporteur on IPA III pre-accession assistance funds, Zovko called for using available funding to fight the crisis.

It is our duty to send Western Balkan partner countries an important message – that they are not alone in the fight against the pandemic. Reallocating available funds will make it possible for those countries to buy medical equipment to help fight the virus, she said.

Zovko also proposed that the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism be expanded to include the entire Western Balkans.

The EU Solidarity Fund was set up in 2002 and so far it has been used only in cases of major natural disasters such as floods, storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wildfires or droughts.

It was announced on Thursday that the EC would start forming a medical equipment reserve as part of its RescEU programme. The equipment will be allocated to EU member-countries and countries-signatories to the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

More coronavirus news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


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