Vienna, 6 November 2005 Press release

Plassnik: “We have to join forces in Europe“


Foreign Minister Plassnik in ORF discussion on Europe at the Albertina

Vienna, 6 November 2005 - Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik participated in today’s ORF live panel discussion on "Borders and security in Europe" chaired by Professor Paul Lendvai.

Commenting on immigration in the light of the current youth riots in France, the Foreign Minister said: "These events show that here too trust has to be built and prospects have to be developed, in particular for young people. Within the EU, we have to learn from each other and develop common goals." However, it was imperative that no exaggerated hopes were raised. Dealing with each other in a sensitive way and the careful use of words in order to stop hatred and anger were important to her.

Referring to migration, Plassnik said: "There is no unrestricted immigration - neither in Austria nor in Europe". This was ensured by a complex regulatory framework. In the preparations for Austria’s second EU Presidency in 2006 a comparison had shown that the greatest changes had occurred in the field of security and home affairs, an area in which European cooperation was particularly intensive.

Although every European country was facing problems, it could be stated without arrogance that "we Austrians have a good situation when it comes to living side by side", and this would remain a focus of attention in the future.

In the discussion the Foreign Minister also commented on the wish of the Europeans to preserve the European model of life, which went far beyond building a competitive economy. In particular, it also included social security, common basic values, and respect for Europe’s diversity.

A priority of Austria’s EU Presidency was the Balkans, "for you cannot talk about security and stability in Europe and leave out the Balkans", said Plassnik. Another project of the Presidency was close cooperation with all European institutions. "We have to join forces in Europe", concluded Plassnik.

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