Vienna, 1 December 2006 - "We regard the role of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union not as a platform for presenting our country but as a service to the Community," said State Secretary Hans Winkler today in his speech before the Chamber of Provinces of the Austrian Parliament.
Winkler presented the White Paper on the priorities of Austria’s Presidency, which was drafted by the Federal Ministry with the participation and support of all ministries. "The White Paper is designed to give everyone interested in the EU and the Presidency a compact and comprehensive overview of the forthcoming themes and the Austrian priorities," continued Winkler.
Winkler was pleased about the lively interest and the declared support for the forthcoming Presidency. "I see the time of Austria’s Presidency of the Council as a special opportunity to bring the European Union again closer to the people in our country," affirmed Winkler, emphasising his personal ambition to rekindle the enthusiasm of the Austrian citizens for Europe.
Winkler outlined the concerns of the Austrian Federal Government for the next six months and also underlined the indispensable contribution of the federal provinces. "A number of events and conferences in the federal provinces in particular will call for team work from all sides," continued Winkler.
"The European Union and thus the European legislation process is characterised by the close interaction of the European Commission, the Council and Parliament. As in Austria, the legislation process follows certain rules that have to be complied with," said Winkler in response to the repeated demand that Austria’s Presidency ensure the rapid completion of current projects, such as the directive on the opening of the EU services market.
Contact for further enquiries:
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
From Austria: 050 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
From abroad: ++43 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: 050 1159 213 or ++43 50 1159 213