Krakau, 29. April 2013 Press release

Lopatka: "Poland is an important business partner and ally of Austria in the EU"

State Secretary calls for closing of ranks to promote growth and employment

Krakow, 29 April 2013 – "Poland's economy has grown by 2.4% over the past year; by this the country has proven that economic growth is possible even in times of crisis. We will need more growth in Europe in order to give the 26 million EU citizens looking for work the opportunity to find a job", Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said in a key address at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow on "A new agenda for Europe: From the crisis to reform". The university has for many years pursued cooperation schemes with the Austrian universities of Vienna, Salzburg and Linz.

"We might not share a border, but our two countries are tied together by history; Austria and Poland enjoy close cultural relations and intense business contacts. We see ourselves as two Central European neighbours in culture who are also getting things moving in the EU. Thanks to the experience gained in its transformation process, Poland is playing a central role in the European neighbourhood policy and the development of the Eastern Partnership. We are both supporting a credible European perspective for the countries in the Western Balkans", Lopatka continued. He also said that the EU would need to speak with one voice to be perceived as a global actor, and that as a close ally of the USA, Poland could make an important input to shaping transatlantic relations.

"At 3.4 billion euros, our exports to Poland have reached a new record high in 2012. Economic relations with Southern Poland are developing with an especially powerful dynamism; 35% of Poland's GNP is generated there. About fifty percent of our exports go to Southern Poland. More than 200 companies have subsidiaries in the area and are involved in large projects, such as the conversion of the central railway station of Katowice", the State Secretary said after his meeting with Voivode Jerzy Miller (Governor) and the Mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski.

Cooperation between the region of Southern Poland and the Austrian Provinces of Lower and Upper Austria is intense. Vienna and Innsbruck are twin cities of Krakow. "This regional cooperation is an essential element of our common Europe, as important additional growth and employment impetus emanates from it", Lopatka concluded.

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