Wien, 30. June 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: „Citizen Service is a reliable lifeline for Austrians in distress when abroad“

Foreign Minister presents consular staff with the „Citizen Service Award”

Vienna, 30 June 2010 – „Consular assistance to Austrians who find themselves in distress abroad represents a central task of the Foreign Ministry. The Citizen Service in Vienna, and the some 100 embassies and professional consulates form an efficient safety net available to Austrians around the clock worldwide. The Ministry staff perform a magnificent work, often under difficult, sometimes even dangerous circumstances, with exceptional idealism and commitment. During last year alone, they provided concrete assistance in more than 53,000 cases. I thank them very much for this“, said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger at the opening of this year’s consular and administrative conference in the Diplomatic Academy.

This year, the „Citizen Service Award“ was once again presented during the conference to three staff members for their extraordinary achievements in the field of consular services. „The winners of the awards receive this distinction on behalf of all those consular employees who have shown exceptional commitment and empathy in their wide-ranging and challenging activity – from the repatriation of accident victims to assistance in cases of death or during natural disasters. Thanks to their efficient and unbureaucratic assistance, those affected were able to return home quickly and safely“, said Spindelegger.

„I am proud that during the previous year my consular staff were once again able to provide support in often quite complicated situations. Apart from competence, professionalism and a sure instinct, another common distinctive characteristic they share is their determined effort to bail out their fellow citizens who find themselves in distress abroad“, the Foreign Minister concluded.

For more information, contact:
Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
Email: abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at