Vienna, 19 November 2004 - Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik met the Mayor of Vienna, Michael Häupl, today to discuss cooperation between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the City of Vienna. The talks mainly focused on the role played by Austria and particularly Vienna as the seat of 31 international organisations, as well as on Austria’s EU Presidency in 2006.
As Plassnik pointed out, "the City of Vienna and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs cooperate very well in a wide range of areas and besides the many interfaces in our daily work we also share a large number of joint interests and concerns".
Referring to Vienna’s wider role as headquarters and official seat of international organisations, the Foreign Minister stated that the city is very pro-active and does a lot in order to further enhance its attractiveness in this respect. "Austria and Vienna have a lot to offer international organisations. The fact that it has not only been possible to safeguard Vienna’s position as the official seat of, for instance, UN organisations but indeed to further expand and strengthen it, is a huge success and proof of our capabilities. However, we will not rest on our laurels but will continue to work intensively along these lines in order to offer both the Austrians and the international staff working with the Vienna-based institutions the best possible conditions. Alongside the diplomatic and political advantages, which are difficult to quantify, emphasis should be placed on the huge economic and cultural benefits a successful host country policy holds for each and every one of us."
Austria’s EU Presidency in the first half of 2006 will have an important impact on Austria in general and the City of Vienna in particular, since the major part of the relevant events will take place in Austria’s capital. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the City of Vienna will cooperate closely in order to guarantee the smooth organisation and implementation of the scheduled events.