At the march plenary meeting MEPs discussed the outbreak of a new fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) across Europe and the world, as well as the European Union’s response to it.

A number of MEPs during the debate on coronavirus have pointed out that solidarity and co-operation are crucial in Europe in the context of the coronavirus epidemic, which has spread to all EU Member States.  Parliament has also heard some criticism at the expense of some countries and the European Union’s actions to date.

Irena Joveva pointed out that in a serious epidemic situation we do not need to panic, we must not be indifferent and we should not trust self-proclaimed experts.

Madam President! I am not going to say purely politically what we all have to do, because at this moment it seems more important for me to say what is wrong and what is superfluous. In my opinion, these are three different groups.

First: all panics are wrong and redundant. The new coronavirus is not the end of the world unless human stupidity prevails. I emphasize: if. Second: all indifference is wrong and redundant. Wouldn’t you still be indifferent if one of your parents or grandparents became infected?. I’m young. I would probably get over the virus, but what if I passed it on to someone who wouldn’t. That’s the point. It’s about responsibility. And third: self-proclaimed professionals are most wrong and redundant. All of a sudden everyone knows everything. In my opinion, self-isolation is necessary for these people as well, but from social networks in the first place.

The situation is absolutely serious, but who am I to condemn the measures. Are they too strict, too soft, too late? I do not know, but I know that I am responsible and I trust the profession. The real one.

 

 

“As you cannot throw all of us in the same bin, so you cannot these people! Come to the field. Among them. Bring it on.”

This is a (non-edited) part of one of my Facebook posts. It was October 2015. A time of severe humanitarian, refugee, migrant crisis.

In my previous life, as I usually say, field work was my love. Among many, exactly this one was most emotional, by far the most exhausting but also the most valuable. The field work taught me by far the most.

Four years and four months after my announcement, we discussed the humanitarian situation at the EU’s external borders at a plenary session in the European Parliament.

The video below is my part of the discussion where I ‘earned’ my first card. Not yellow, but blue. Intended to ask a question that you can then answer – if you do not reject the card. I accepted it. I probably don’t need to explain in particular that a Croatian colleague gave it to me. Because I have talked about how some people persistently reiterate that there is no evidence of any human rights violation on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. That those of us who are loud in this regard are not telling the truth. Obviously I will need to be back in the field again. I went as a journalist, I will go as a politician if need with greater motivation. Because, next time they tell me again that there is no evidence, I’ll just be able to show them my own.

P.S.: In response, I invited the MP who had given me a card to take a look at the pictures, recordings and reports of events on the border that already exist. We’re probably going next week.

Dear President, for years, we have witnessed reports of human rights violations of refugees and migrants at the Union’s external borders. Among other things, as we have heard, also at the Croatian border.

Representatives of the EU Council Presidency, sitting in front, are  representatives of Croatia, as well as colleagues from that country. I know what you would like to say again. That nothing is true, that there is no evidence …

A month ago, a group of NGOs released a report what happened there last year. The document shows that the Croatian authorities send these people back to Bosnia and Herzegovina with batons, with the result of air gun shots, barefoot, sometimes naked. Croatian Ombudsmen, United Nations agencies, and even some Croatian police officers in their anonymous statements, point to the occurrences.

The European Commission, in the previous composition, did what? Commission said Croatia was eligible for Schengen. So much for that. If necessary, I will personally go out into the field, but overnight and unannounced. Next time they tell me that there is no evidence, I will show you my recordings.