Bruck an der Mur/Graz, 10. April 2013 Press release

Lopatka: "Austria among the top business performers in the EU"

State Secretary Lopatka discusses Europe with Styrian employees

Bruck an der Mur/Graz, 10 April 2013 – State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka visited three Styrian companies on his DARUM EUROPA information tour today: Norske Skog and INTECO in Bruck an der Mur and BIT in Graz where he discussed European topics with the companies' staff. "I am impressed by the success that Austrian companies are able to achieve. Their know-how and the quality of their products and services are outstanding, and thanks to their high export rates, many of them are world market leaders in their industries ", State Secretary Lopatka said.

"Last November I embarked on the DARUM EUROPA information tour that has taken me to companies all throughout Austria. I am trying to re-establish trust in the EU and in the euro by pointing out the numerous positive achievements of the EU. In my discussions with the workforce I address the questions, fears and worries of the people, such as their concerns about the financial situation, the national debt crisis, Cyprus, the bank secret and unemployment", the State Secretary said.

"I would like to remind the people that the European values, the European model of life and the European social model are unique. We are, however, facing fierce competition of the continents and have to ensure the competitiveness of the EU in order to preserve these values, life and social models. Austria, with is social partnership approach and its dual vocational training system can make valuable contributions in this context and serves as a role model", the State Secretary said.

The EU is the biggest economic power in the world today. It accounts for 7 percent of the world's population and 50 percent of global social spending and generates 25 percent of worldwide economic output. The EU member states have to operate economically in order to be able to finance this social spending.

"Calculations illustrate that Austria profits from its EU membership: We earn 6 out of every 10 euros from exports; 70 percent of our exports go to other EU nations. Since Austria's accession to the EU in 1995, 13,000 additional jobs have been created every year; if we were to leave the euro zone, more than 100,000 jobs would be lost", the State Secretary said.

"Styria profits from the EU. Austria has valuable expertise in drawing on EU subsidies", the State Secretary said. Styria, for example, receives funds for regional competitiveness and employment, as well as in the framework of European territorial cooperation with cross-border and transnational programmes. The "Regional Competitiveness and Employment Styria 2007-2013" EU programme, for example, provided 155.1 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund for Styria.

"Austria is among the top-performers of European economy and we do not wish to lose that position", Lopatka said.

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