Vienna, 18 December 2007 - "Austrians have kept their attentive and differentiated view of the European Union. They are well aware of the benefits of our EU membership", commented Foreign Minister Ursual Plassnik today on the latest results of the Eurobarometer survey. Plassnik: "Approval of the EU reveals a positive trend. The percentage of those who believe that the EU is a positive thing has further increased compared to the previous year. The majority of Austrians have thus proven their continued confidence in the EU - in contrast to vociferous campaigns arguing the converse."
Plassnik: "My objective is not to play EU sceptics off against EU enthusiasts. The majority in our country has quite a pragmatic view of the EU, and the people can distinguish very precisely. Austria in particular benefits significantly from the EU: more growth, more jobs, and more market opportunities in Europe and in the world."
"This is also proven by the new survey, where questions on specific concerns are addressed to the EU. Austrians clearly want greater European involvement in important areas: 81 percent want more European involvement in the fight against terrorism. 73 percent want this in connection with environmental protection, 68 percent in connection with energy, and 67 percent in defence and foreign policy", said Plassnik.
Compared to other age groups, young Austrians generally have a more positive view of the EU. "The youth has embraced Europe. This youth is about to shape its future with interest and commitment, focusing on greater opportunities", said the Foreign Minister, commenting on the fact that 65 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds believe the EU is a good thing.
Plassnik regards the positive perception of their country’s own economic situation by 83 percent of Austrians as a "clear sign of success". "This positions Austria among the top in the EU. This is a quality mark for the solid work done by the previous and the current government. It also shows that, in Austria, the economic opportunities of a united Europe have been identified and are being well used."
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