Vienna, 1 April 2004 - Foreign Minister Ferrero-Waldner congratulated Michel Barnier, the present EU Commissioner for Regional Policy and Institutional Reform, on his appointment to the office of French Minister of Foreign Affairs. Conveying her best wishes to her new counterpart, Ferrero-Waldner said: "I congratulate Michel Barnier - whom I have known for many years - very warmly on his new office. When I was State Secretary at the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Michel Barnier held the office of State Secretary for European Affairs in the French government. Michel Barnier knows Austria exceptionally well and he is first and foremost a true European. He is someone who does not marginalise or exclude but who unites. In the spirit of our longstanding friendship I am thus looking forward to an excellent cooperation, from which both our countries will benefit."