Wien, 23. January 2013 Press release

Spindelegger to Cameron: "Not cherry picking but more Europe is the key"

Vienna, 23 January 2013 – "In his speech on Europe, the British Prime Minister David Cameron analyses the current challenges and some of the problems of the EU, such as the euro, Europe's competitiveness and democratic legitimacy. He is, however, coming to the wrong conclusions. Cherry picking by one member state cannot be the response to these challenges. What we need instead is more Europe and more unity", Austrian Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in his first reaction to the speech the British Prime Minister held today on the relations of the United Kingdom and the European Union.

"I am also in favour of a reform of the EU. However, such a reform will only be successful, if all 27 member states act in concert and cooperate. Unilaterally imposing conditions or demanding a re-negotiation of its membership will not lead to the desired result", Spindelegger continued and underlined that membership in the EU has to mean the same rights and obligations for all member states.

The Foreign Minister explained that it is solely at the discretion of the British Government to decide whether the United Kingdom remaining in the EU should be subject to a referendum by 2017. "I welcome the fact that Cameron made it clear in his address that the British Government recognises the added value that the EU brings for Great Britain and its citizens. Consequently I expect that the constructive cooperation based on partnership in the EU will be continued. For one thing is certain: the United Kingdom is important for the EU, but the EU is equally important for the United Kingdom."

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