Early life and education
Career in the public sector
Zovko came back to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1999 to work as associate for public relations and head of office for the Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Ante Jelavić, who was later found guilty of abuse of office, embezzlement of office, and lack of commitment in office.
In the 2000s, Zovko moved to the diplomatic service: she was named resident ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to France from 2004 to 2008 (competent also on Algeria, Tunisia, Monaco and Andorra as well as UNESCO), then ambassador to Spain between 2008 and 2011 (competent also on Morocco and the Madrid-based World Tourism Organization).
In 2012 Zovko came back to Bosnian politics, working until 2015 as foreign affairs advisor for the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina Vjekoslav Bevanda.
In May 2014 Zovko contested the 2014 European Parliament election in Croatia on the list of the "Patriotic coalition" linked to the Croatian Democratic Union. She won 2,392 votes. She was not elected.
Member of the European Parliament, 2016–present
In 2016, following the resignation of Andrej Plenkovic and Davor Ivo Stier who went to form a new government in Croatia, and the refusal of Ivan Tepeš to replace Stier, Zovko took up a place in the European Parliament as MEP for Croatia. Her switch of loyalties from the Bosnian diplomatic service to representing Croatian voters in the European Parliament raised some criticisms in the press. During her first term, she served on the Committee on Development (DEVE). Following the 2019 elections, she joined the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In addition to her committee assignments, she is a member of the parliamentary delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo (DSEE) 
- Bio on EPP Group
- "Ambasadorica BiH Željana Zovko postaje hrvatska europarlamentarka" [BiH Ambassador Zeljana Zovko Becomes Croatian MEP] (in Croatian). Al Jazeera. 24 October 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- Results of 2014 elections, Croatia
- "Željana Zovko – Od ambasadorice BiH do hrvatske europarlamentarke" [Zeljana Zovko - From the Ambassador of BiH to the Croatian Parliament] (in Croatian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 1 November 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
- European Parliament
- "Fact Sheet - EU Election Observation Mission to Nepal". 2 November 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2019.