Wien, 5. April 2013 Press release

Lopatka: "Best possible coordination of EU communication"

Information exchange on EU communication initiatives with MoEPs, representatives from provincial and community levels and the social partners at the Austrian Foreign Ministry

Vienna, 5 April 2013 – "One of the priorities of the Austrian government programme 2008 – 2013 is to boost the trust of Austrian citizens in the European Union", State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said.

"With a view to the imminent European Parliament elections in 2014, it is imperative that the interest of the Austrian population in EU issues is heightened. While 67.7% Austrians had voted in the European Parliament elections in 1996, voter turnout was only 46% in 2009. We have to counteract this development", the State Secretary said. With this in mind, the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs organised an event for the exchange of information to coordinate and align EU communication between the federal government, the Austrian provinces, communities and the social partners.

"Dialogue and information provided in an understandable form are prerequisites for the EU to be accepted by the people. Input is required from all levels of policy-making in this context. I believe that sufficient and open information about the EU is of paramount importance. Only if this is guaranteed will the people be able to understand European decisions and contribute to them. Especially in the European Year of Citizens 2013, initiatives of communication about Europe play an important role", Lopatka said.

The Austrian Foreign Ministry pro-actively approaches the people to make the project of Europe tangible and understandable; for example with the Town-Hall Meetings of Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger, the EU Municipal Councillors initiatives, the Visitors Service of the Austrian representation in Brussels, presentation of the EU travelling exhibition by EU experts in Austrian schools, video reports about EU Council meetings on the YouTube channel of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, and by publishing news on the ministry's various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. "I am myself touring all nine federal provinces in the course of my DARUM EUROPA information tour to discuss current EU issues with employees of Austrian companies", Lopatka said.

The representatives from the federal, provincial and community levels and the social partners agreed to engage in the necessary communication about Europe in the best aligned way together.

Contact:
Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3320
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
e-mail: abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at