Luxembourg, 13 June 2005 - On the sidelines of the General Affairs and External Relations Council in Luxembourg, Minister for Foreign Affairs Ursula Plassnik and her Hungarian counterpart Ferenc Somogyi signed an agreement on the establishment of joint diplomatic posts in Podgorica (Serbia and Montenegro).
Hungary and Austria intend to establish diplomatic posts of their Belgrade embassies. The two offices will be opened at one location. However, Hungary and Austria will operate their representations independently of each other.
During the signing ceremony, the Austrian Foreign Minister called the initiative an "important step in our bilateral relations with Hungary and an excellent example of specific cooperation among regional partners. Our joint office in Podgorica will surely also open up further opportunities for common activities and offer advantages in advising the citizens of the two countries in Montenegro. With regard to Austria’s EU presidency, we want to be present in Montenegro in due time; the opening of our joint office is planned for September", Plassnik said.
As agreed with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the future Austrian representation in Podgorica will be a coordination office created under the responsibility of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
The ADA’s project volume in Montenegro currently is 800,000 euros per year; these funds are planned to be increased due to the political importance of South-Eastern Europe in general and Serbia and Montenegro in particular. The ADA’s project work focuses, for example, on programmes to support small and medium-sized businesses, regional and tourism development, eco-efficient building and a sewage treatment plant in Podgorica.
The future office will support these important projects of the Austrian Cooperation Programme with Eastern Europe (OZA) and, at the same time, generally increase Austria’s presence in Montenegro.