Vienna, 5 December 2005 Press release

Plassnik: “Neighbours working for Europe”


Cooperation between Austria and Germany on a basis of trust

Vienna, 5 December 2005 - Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik met her German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier for talks today.

"Austria, Finland and Germany hold the next three Presidencies of the EU. Cooperation on a basis of trust and coordination are therefore important, particularly in view of the wide spectrum of European issues. We have several things in common: Austria and Germany are net payers in the European Union and our two countries have already approved the EU Constitutional Treaty, but above all we are both committed to the European cause," said Plassnik.

"We are working together on a number of specific issues in the European Union: the reunification of Europe, the Financial Perspective, the neighbourhood policy and the question of the future of Europe," continued the Foreign Minister.

Other topics discussed included improved protection for Europeans both within and outside the Union and more effective crisis management: "All these issues give visible indication of the added value of Europe," stressed the Foreign Minister.

"I am interested in multilateral cooperation with Germany within the United Nations as well," added Plassnik.

"We also have shared interests with respect to the upholding of the subsidiarity principle. Our two countries have a federal structure and we are therefore both well aware that decisions should be made as close to the grass roots as possible," said the Foreign Minister.

"We shall study the British proposals regarding the Financial Perspective very carefully and discuss them at the extraordinary meeting of the foreign ministers in Brussels," concluded Plassnik.