Vienna, 16 July 2003 - Minister for Foreign Affairs Benita Ferrero-Waldner today presented the French Senator Hubert Haenel with the Grand Decoration of Honour in Silver with Star for Services to the Republic of Austria.
"In his numerous political offices, and particularly in his capacity as Senator of the French administrative department of Haut-Rhin in Alsace, as Chairman of the French Senate's parliamentary delegation for the European Union and as a member of the two Conventions of the European Union, Senator Hubert Haenel has always used his influence in the interest of intensifying Austro-French relations," said the Austrian Foreign Minister at the presentation ceremony in Vienna today. "Particularly in the difficult situation that prevailed in 2000, he endeavoured to maintain the bridges of partnership between the political decision-makers of both countries and did his utmost to strengthen them wherever possible." Senator Haenel's long political career attained new heights with the re-election of President Chirac and the achievement of the parliamentary majority by his party, the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP).
As a member of the EU Convention, Senator Haenel had been entrusted with the formulation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. "In the person of Senator Haenel Austria has a reliable and influential advocate in French domestic politics and an open-minded discussion partner in European policy-making," stated Ferrero-Waldner.