Bukarest, 14. November 2005 Press release

Winkler: "We have Romania’s future at heart"

14.11.2005

State Secretary Winkler for talks in Romania

Bucharest, 14 November 2005 - "The political friendship and cooperation between Austria and Romania goes hand in hand with a remarkable development of our economic relations," said State Secretary Hans Winkler at the beginning of bilateral talks in Romania. "Last year in particular saw a special intensification of our trade relations," continued Winkler. In the course of his one-day visit, Winkler met with the Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai-Razvan Ungureanu, and the Minister for European Integration Anca Boaciu. He also had talks with his colleague Lucian Leustean, State Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and Leonard Orban, State Secretary at the Ministry for European Integration.

The talks, which were held in a very friendly atmosphere, focused on Romania’s efforts to meet the requirements for accession to the European Union on 1 January 2007 and the projects planned during Austria’s Presidency in the first half of 2006. In connection with the comprehensive monitoring report on Romania submitted by the European Commission, Winkler paid tribute to Romania’s efforts to meet the required criteria and said that Romania’s efforts in the fields of transport, energy, and corporate law in particular were highly encouraging.

However, Winkler also pointed out that Romania still had to undertake many efforts "to achieve the goal of timely accession, which is also in the interests of Austria." Winkler particularly stressed the areas of justice and home affairs, which were of special importance to Austria, as well as improvements in the field of border checks and in the fight against corruption and international crime. Winkler expressed the hope that "Romania will use the remaining time to the best of her abilities" in order to ensure that Romania can soon be welcomed as a member of the European family.

After the talks Winkler gave a speech before diplomats and the Romanian press on the priorities of Austria’s Presidency.