Vienna, 25 May 2005 Press release

Plassnik: Austria's Parliament sets clear signal in favour of Europe


Foreign Minister on ratification of the EU Constitution in the Federal Council

Vienna, 25 May 2005 - "With their strong endorsement of the European Constitution in the National Council and in the Federal Council, Austria's members of parliament have set a clear sign for a re-unified, future-oriented Europe which is capable of action. They have thus sent a positive signal to other Member States where the ratification process is still underway," said Plassnik after the vote in the Federal Council, which completed the parliamentary ratification process of the European Constitutional Treaty in Austria today.

Just a few days ahead of the referendum in France, Plassnik emphasised that the Constitution represents a successful compromise of various interests, in which Austria was able to have many of her wishes integrated. While respecting the cultural, economic and security policy particularities of the Member States, this Constitution creates a piece of modern European identity, according to the Foreign Minister, who then continued: "It is in the nature of compromise that not everyone will find all of his ideas reflected. However, the choice is not between this and an ever better constitution, but only between this Constitution as it stands now and the currently valid, complicated Treaty of Nice. After enlargement, the EU needs a Constitutional Treaty in order to be able to work efficiently in the long run without losing transparency as well as democratic and judicial control on the way."

The Foreign Minister called the agreement on the European Constitutional Treaty a first major success of the enlarged European Union. "This first great common work of the enlarged Europe also lays the first foundation for our future joint action," said Plassnik.