Strasbourg, 16 November 2005 - "The Council and the European Parliament are natural partners to strengthen the trust of citizens in the EU," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik on the occasion of her visit to the European Parliament in preparation for Austria’s EU Presidency.
The Foreign Minister met with leading representatives of the EP, among them the President of the European Parliament Josep Borrell Fontelles, the Chairmen of the European People’s Party faction and the Social Democratic Party faction, Hans Gert Pöttering and Martin Schulz, the rapporteur on the financial perspective Reimer Böge, und the Chairman of the Sub-committee on Security and Defence, Karl von Wogau.
"The principle of our cooperation is "joint responsibility" for addressing the justified concerns of the EU citizens properly, for shaping the common future of Europe successfully, and for obtaining concrete progress on current EU policy issues," said Plassnik.
"A priority goal is to find solutions for the financial perspective. The European Union must continue to have a solid, sound financial basis in the future," continued Plassnik.
"Under our forthcoming Presidency, we aim to take our responsibility for Europe and its citizens seriously and in doing so make the European Parliament our partner," declared the Foreign Minister, adding that the question of the European constitution also required a solution based on partnership.
"We want to cooperate as closely as possible with the European Parliament and make use of the phase of reflection to consolidate the trust of the citizens in the European project in a constructive way," emphasised Plassnik.
Within the framework of an EU Troika meeting with Afghanistan at the European Parliament the Foreign Minister also met President Hamid Karzai, who participated in the Conference on "Islam in a Pluralistic World" which was opened by Foreign Minister Plassnik in Vienna on Monday.