Wien, 21. November 2008 Press release

Plassnik: "An encouraging sign from Sweden as regards the Reform Treaty"

Foreign Minister pleased about clear ratification by the Swedish Parliament

Vienna, 21 November 2008 - "A clear decision and a sign of encouragement," stated Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, commenting on the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon by the Swedish Parliament. The decision saw 243 votes in favour as opposed to 39 votes against, with 13 abstentions. "This clear vote constitutes an important contribution to the reform of the European Union. The debate over the Treaty of Lisbon must be conducted with commitment - but also with the necessary objectivity and sobriety. The practical approach pursued by all high-ranking Swedish politicians to discuss the subject of Europe with their fellow countrymen at least once every two weeks, has contributed to strengthening the confidence of the Swedish people in their government’s policy towards Europe. In Austria, too, we need to attach more importance to question and answer sessions on our new Europe and to open debates," stated Plassnik.

"The Irish referendum has failed to stop the European ratification process, which is continuing. Opinion polls, taken of late in Ireland, also clearly reveal increasing support for EU reform. That is a sign of hope, not only for the Irish, but also for their European partners. The negative outcome of Ireland’s referendum has not consolidated, but rather weakened the country’s position in Europe, which has become clearly evident over recent months. As a nay-sayer one cannot co-shape the future: accordingly, one will be bound to have less influence," concluded the Foreign Minister.

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