Vienna, 8 July 2004 - Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner received Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia and Montenegro, Miroljub Labus, for talks in Vienna. The meeting focused on the rapprochement of Serbia and Montenegro to the European Union as well as on the Balkans as a focal point of Austria’s foreign policy.
Ferrero-Waldner emphasised that the European dimension was vital for the stabilisation of the Balkans: "The prospect of moving closer to the European Union is an important incentive to implement reforms. By supporting the countries of the region on their way to the European Union we strengthen the reform efforts of the democratic forces in South Eastern Europe."
The Foreign Minister stated that the Balkans were a priority of Austria’s foreign policy: "Within the European Union, we will continue to support the countries of South Eastern Europe on their way to the European family. Ultimately, Austria will benefit from stability and prosperity in the South Eastern European region, too", said Ferrero-Waldner.