Brüssel, 10. December 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "Clear strategy toward Turkey proves right once again"

10.12.2007

Foreign Minister at EU Council in Brussels

Brussels, 10 December 2007 - "Negotiations with Croatia are on a good course. It is a clear sign for the entire region of the Balkans that the prospects for an EU Membership are taking concrete forms", said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik in informal talks at today’s EU Council Meeting for General Affairs and External Relations, making a reference to the conclusions on enlargement that were adopted by the Council.

"I would have imagined an even greater acknowledgement of the progress made by Croatia. Yet the present formulation is a clear signal of encouragement to Croatia and the entire Balkans not to deviate from the reform course it has committed itself to. For Austria, it is clear that the future for our neighbours on the Balkans is full membership in the EU family when they meet all standards."

"Our clear strategy toward Turkey has proven right once again: Open-ended negotiations, without any automatism, a clear preference for a customized partnership, and an emphasis on the absorption capacity of the EU. In this respect, the French position comes to strengthen Austria’s approach. In 2005, our differentiated and realistic attitude turned us into lonely forerunners. Today, the situation is different", stressed Plassnik.

In view of the clear and substantial conclusions adopted today by the EU Foreign Ministers, there is no need for a repetition of the conclusions by the European Council, concluded Plassnik.

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