5 Questions with... Željana Zovko

Željana Zovko (EPP, HR) is Vice-Chair of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo
Željana Zovko | Photo Courtesy of Željana Zovko

1. How would you describe your political/leadership style in three words?

Integrity, perseverance and hard work.

2. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?

As former ambassador to UNESCO, I inscribed two historical bridges – including the Old Bridge in Mostar – on the UNESCO World Heritage List as symbols of reconciliation between communities in war-torn societies.

3. What is the most humbling thing you have experienced in your career?

My work in the Parliament, especially in the Foreign Affairs Committee, has given me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and work on promoting democracy. Unfortunately, many of those whom I encounter have shared with me that they are still sidelined, disenfranchised and experiencing daily injustices. Hearing these stories motivates me to continue my fight and devote myself even more to the cause that led me into politics, namely advocating for those whose voices are not being heard.

4. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?

After a busy week in the Parliament, I like to take long walks along the seaside in the city of Split, where I live, or to visit relatives in the countryside – the nature is still amazing there. I like spending time with my younger relatives because they allow me to really disconnect.

I am also a compulsive buyer of books, which patiently wait until I have free time to read them.

5. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?

During the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was separated from my parents. I was studying in London at the time, and my mom, on her first visit, brought me a copy of the Bible. She gave it to me as a guide for those difficult moments when I had no direct links to my home.

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