Wien, 12 July 2005 Press release

Plassnik: "From Austria to the Czech Republic on hiking trails and rivers"


”Easier border crossings for tourists”

Vienna, 12 July 2005 - Two agreements facilitating and expanding border traffic between Austria and the Czech Republic were signed by the Ministerial Council today.

"Both agreements aim at further facilitating border crossings between the Czech Republic and Austria and promoting daily interaction between the border regions. Hikers, cyclists, horse-riders and boaters will now be able to use the hiking trails and rivers in the Austro-Czech border regions without hindrance. Tourism is of particular importance for the border region. Many joint cross-border projects organised at the regional level, like the EUROREGIO Bohemian Forest and the Thaya Valley National Park for instance, will benefit from the conclusion of these two agreements", the Foreign Minister said.

"Our concern is to work together with the Provinces of Upper Austria and Lower Austria in order to promote and facilitate neighbourliness and cooperation between the regions to the best of our abilities. The agreements on border traffic represent an important step towards facilitating daily interaction for the people of the border regions," Plassnik pointed out.

The Foreign Minister thanked the Provinces of Upper Austria and Lower Austria, the Czech Republic and the Ministry of the Interior for their good cooperation in bringing about the agreements. "The positive outcome of the negotiations is a good example for partnership in practice", Plassnik continued.

In the next few weeks the agreements will be signed by the Minister of the Interior Liese Prokop and her Czech counterpart. Following ratification by both parliaments they will enter into force before the end of this year.