Wien, 4. December 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "Clear-headed discussion of the Treaty of Lisbon"

04.12.2007

Foreign Minister during parliamentary discussion of topical issues

Vienna, 4 December 2007 - "The Treaty of Lisbon will bring more democracy, more clarity and more security," emphasised Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik in today’s parliamentary discussion of topical issues, calling for more clear-headedness in the debate about this Treaty: "The citizens, and in particular the young and the elderly, must have the opportunity to form their own picture of Europe and the new Treaty."

"The Treaty of Lisbon means more democracy because the European Parliament will be strengthened and decision-making better streamlined," said the Foreign Minister, also highlighting the possibility of European citizens’ initiatives introduced by the new Treaty. "In addition, the participation rights of national parliaments will be strengthened and local communities and regions recognised as important partners in Europe," stated Plassnik.

"The Treaty will also bring more clarity because of the precise delineation of competences at the European and national levels," explained Plassnik. She also pointed out with regard to the EU’s external policy that the creation of a de-facto Foreign Minister of the European Union would mean that Europe would talk with one voice in the world. This, too, would lead to more clarity and efficiency.

Finally, the Treaty would bring more security for European citizens by ensuring that the European Union would be better equipped for the challenges of the modern world. It would thus help to safeguard Europe’s competitiveness at the international level.

Plassnik also clarified that the Treaty of Lisbon would not change Austria’s neutrality: "Austria will continue to determine its own security policy according to its own rules," stated the Foreign Minister.

"The Treaty of Lisbon will enable us to remain an active part of the European Union that co-shapes Europe’s future. There is no reason for scaremongering or fear," concluded the Foreign Minister.

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