Wien, 8. October 2008 Press release

Plassnik: "Austria needs a clear and consistent policy towards Europe"

Foreign Minister on Werner Faymann’s mandate to form a new government

Vienna, 8 October 2008 – "In today’s mandate for the formation of a government the Federal President explicitly called upon Werner Faymann to ensure ‘that Austria will continue to actively contribute as a reliable partner to the project of European cooperation’, and justifiably so," stated Plassnik. "Austria needs a clear and consistent policy towards Europe as has been a matter of course for every federal government since our accession to the EU in 1995," the Foreign Minister continued.

"Austria and the European Union as a whole are facing major challenges. In this difficult environment it is imperative that our Austrian interests be represented in Europe and the world at large in a concerted manner and in the best possible way. To achieve this goal Austria will have to continue to pursue a uniform course without weakening itself or indeed constraining itself unnecessarily," affirmed Plassnik.

"I therefore welcome the clarity of the Federal President’s mandate," stated the Foreign Minister. "It has been and remains my conviction," continued Plassnik, "that Austria’s foreign policy should build on tried and tested ground, unimpressed and unswayed by heckling from the sidelines, and that Austria, as a reliable partner, should continue to actively co-shape the project of European cooperation in a straightforward manner."

"Our objective must be a strong Austria in a strong and unified Europe," affirmed the Foreign Minister. "This is not only the course that should be pursued by the government; for a country of our size it is nothing less than reason of state," concluded the Foreign Minister.

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