Budapest, 11. July 2005 Press release

Plassnik: ”Regional Partnership is functioning well”

11.07.2005

First meeting of the Regional Partners under Hungarian chair

Budapest, 11 July 2005 - "Hungary will hold the chair of the Regional Partnership for the next six months. We have every interest in supporting Hungary on a partnership basis, since topics relating inter alia to the Western Balkans, Croatia and the European Neighbourhood Policy will also represent priorities of Austria’s EU Presidency", the Foreign Minister said.

"The commemorative ceremonies being held today in Srebrenica to remind us of the dramatic events of ten years ago must also be understood as a mandate issued to all of us to join forces and contribute to the consolidation of the situation in the Balkans and the rapprochement of these states to the European Union," Plassnik emphasised.

"The EU is at the beginning of a temporary pause for intensive soul searching and thinking ahead to the future. We had the opportunity to discuss issues related to the financial forecast and the EU Constitution together. I also attach particular importance to the cooperation in the field of security, which is proceeding on an ongoing basis within the 'Salzburg Group'", the Foreign Minister went on.

On the margins of the meeting Plassnik and her Ukrainian counterpart Tarasyuk were also able to discuss some details relating to the bilateral visit President Victor Yushchenko is paying to Austria tomorrow.