Wien, 23. November 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "Clarity concerning Austria’s water resources"

23.11.2007

Vienna, 23 November 2007 - Decisions by the EU’s Council on questions relating to water resources continue to require unanimity. The European Union’s Reform Treaty, which will be signed in Lisbon on 13 December, clearly lays down that the individual states, including their regions and local communities, will remain responsible for services of public interest. They include the water supply and water resources management of each country.

This is also explicitly confirmed by the European Commission’s communiqué on "The Single Market in the 21st Century," which was presented this week.

Therefore, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik clarified that a "hidden liberalisation" or privatisation in the sensitive area of water management was out of the question, even indirectly by way of EU environmental or consumer protection rules.

 "It is explicitly stipulated that provisions in these areas continue to require unanimity in the Council, which has been consistently supported by Austria in recent years. In this area Austria will continue to remain alert vis-à-vis the EU and particularly the Commission. There will be no changes against our will," concluded Plassnik.

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