Wien, 15. September 2005 Press release

Kyrle: "Significant progress in transborder crime prevention"

15.09.2005

Austria and Germany agree on closer police and judicial cooperation

Vienna, 15 September 2005 - Ambassador Johannes Kyrle, Secretary General for Foreign Affairs, and Hans-Henning Horstmann, German Ambassador to Austria, exchanged ratification documents at the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs today for the bilateral treaty signed at the end of 2003.

Crime, particularly organised crime, is becoming increasingly global in terms both of the criminal groups themselves and the geographical scope of their activities. This is particularly true of the threat of international terrorism. Austria is therefore endeavouring to strengthen police and judicial cooperation with neighbouring countries.

The treaty with Germany, which enters into force on 1 December 2005, calls for simplification of official procedures regarding transborder assistance between police and judicial authorities. It authorises both the exchange of information and operational cooperation through the intervention of police authorities on the territory of the neighbouring state in the interests of security and crime investigation. Procedures for the comparison of German and Austrian DNA profiles and identification patterns as well as other investigative material have now been fixed by treaty for the first time. Simultaneously, the treaty also guarantees a high level of data protection.

It provides in addition for mutual support by the two states in major events, disasters and serious accidents.

The treaty will make a decisive contribution to increasing security at major events in the coming years, such as the Austrian EU Presidency with the many functions throughout the country that it involves, and two football competitions, the World Cup in Germany in 2006 and the European Cup in 2008, which will be co-hosted by Austria and Switzerland.