Podgorica, 5. October 2007 Press release

Kyrle: A sign of good neighbourliness: the deepening of cooperation with Slovenia, Hungary and Poland in the consular field

05.10.2007

General Secretary at the Foreign Ministry Johannes Kyrle at the opening of the joint visa application office shared by Austria, Slovenia, Hungary and Poland in Montenegro

Podgorica, 5 October 2007 - "This is a sign of the high quality of our good neighbourly relations," said the Secretary General at the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Johannes Kyrle, today in Podgorica during the opening ceremony of the joint visa application office shared by Austria, Slovenia, Hungary and Poland. The opening was also attended by Montenegrin Foreign Minister Milan Rocen, Hungarian Foreign Minister Kinga Göncz, EU Commissioner Franco Frattini, Slovenian Minister of the Interior Dragutin Mate, Portuguese Minister of the Interior Ru Pereira and Polish Ambassador Piotr Kaszuba. Kyrle went on to call the new office "an example of cooperation and integration between EU partners."

Kyrle expressed his thanks to Slovenia for the initiative which had been pursued since the opening of the joint visa application office in Chisinau (Moldova) this April, where Austria cooperates with Slovenia and Hungary. The fact that Poland had joined the office in Podgorica gave him grounds for optimism that "consular cooperation between EU partners can be strengthened further," stated the Secretary General.

According to Kyrle, Montenegrin citizens can continue to submit their visa applications in their home country. From there the application documents are transferred to the Austrian Embassy in Ljubljana for decision-making, which relieves the workload on the Austrian Embassy in Podgorica. From the date when Slovenia becomes a fully-fledged member state of the Schengen area it could take over Austria’s full representation in all visa matters in Podgorica, concluded the Secretary General.

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