Wien, 26. April 2004 Press release

Austrian Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner: Austria celebrates EU enlargement

26.04.2004

Austria stages numerous events in celebration of the new Member States’ EU accession

Vienna, 26 April 2004 - Numerous celebrations will be staged throughout Austria on the occasion of the enlargement of the European Union on 1 May 2004.

In order to provide an overview of the many national, regional and local enlargement festivities, the Foreign Ministry together with the Federal Chancellery has compiled a comprehensive list of events. This list of events that covers more than 25 pages can be called up both on the homepage of the Foreign Ministry at www.aussenministerium.at and on the enlargement homepage of the Federal Chancellery at www.europa2004.gv.at ("Service/Veranstaltungen"). Below a few highlights from this list of events:

  • Under the patronage of Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner numerous local events under the motto "living the partnership in towns and villages" will be staged in all border regions on 30 April and 1 May. The Association of Austrian Local Authorities is acting as the organisational platform for this initiative.
  • Together with the Director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, Wilfried Seipel, Austrian Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner is inviting guests to an "enlargement reception" at the museum on the evening of 30 April 2004.
  • Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the Governor of Lower Austria Erwin Pröll together with representatives from the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be taking part at the meeting of three countries organised by the province of Lower Austria in Hohenau on the River March.
  • Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel will meet the heads of government of the neighbouring countries Slovenia, Italy, Slovakia and Hungary on 30 April and 1 May and take part in the enlargement celebrations in Dublin on the evening of 1 May.
  • Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and State Secretary Franz Morak will be inaugurating the opening of the exhibition project "EU & You" at Vienna's Südbahnhof on 27 April. Within the framework of this project, the railway stations in Vienna (Südbahnhof), Graz (Hauptbahnhof), Villach (Hauptbahnhof), Brno, Bratislava, Szombathely and Ljubljana will be realising a series of cross-border exhibitions between 1 and 31 May 2004.
  • Federal Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel and members of the federal government will be attending the "Concert for Europe" given by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Schönbrunn Palace on 25 May, 8:00 p.m.

In the individual federal provinces, the huge spectrum of initiatives includes many different events ranging from exhibitions, conferences and joint language and cultural seminars through concerts, band meetings and pilgrimages to cross-border bike trips and even marathon races.

Therefore, as Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner puts it, "Austria is perfectly equipped for the challenges of the upcoming EU enlargement - even in terms of events and celebrations."