Wien, 8. November 2007 Press release

Plassnik: "For young people, Europe is the chance of the century"

08.11.2007

Adolescents present a "catalogue of requests relating to Europe" to Foreign Minister

Vienna, 8 November - Prior to today’s debate on Europe in the Austrian Parliament young people expressed their pleasure concerning the opportunities presented by the EU Reform Treaty of Lisbon. Before Parliament they presented Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik with a long list of requests focusing on European and international cooperation in the field of education, intensification of the international scholarship programmes and bilingual instruction in schools, as well as European cooperation to reduce unemployment among young people, and asked for her pro-active support.

"You are my best allies in the European cause," stated the Foreign Minister. "I shall support your concerns wherever possible. The development of bilingual instruction in schools, for instance, is a European necessity. We experience it time and again: ignorance of foreign languages and difficulties in understanding one another constitute barriers to our new togetherness in the enlarged Europe," continued Plassnik.

The Foreign Minister was particularly pleased that the young people were interested in learning about Europe and had an impressive knowledge of European affairs. "The young people have set out with special verve to discover the continent and its new opportunities. They are making up their own minds seeing with their own eyes. The EU-27 offers many more opportunities, ranging from education and training to employment. In this respect as well Europe is already the chance of the century for young people. Their access to the labour market remains an immediate political task. The fight against youth unemployment has absolute priority," she stated.

"I appeal to you young people not to allow your enthusiasm for Europe to flag, and to remain persistent and interested. We need your interest, your energy and your special visions to further develop the major project that is "Europe". The Europe of tomorrow is your Europe," concluded the Minister.

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