Vienna, 11 May 2010 - "The European Dialogue is team work – for all members of the Federal Government, as well as for the decision makers on provincial and municipal level. Therefore, a year ago I proposed a series of concrete measures to launch this dialogue. We have achieved quite a lot ever since: for instance, my dialogue tour through the federal provinces, the project launch ‚Municipal Councillors for Europe’, video reports from council meetings by members of the Federal Government, and re-launching the travelling exhibition „The EU and YOU” for schools. The positive feedback shows that many of the then launched initiatives proved successful, and that they should definitely be continued and strengthened“, said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger today at the presentation of an interim report on the European Dialogue in the council of ministers.
Spindelegger added: "Mayors and municipal representatives are the first to contact in connection with worries or concerns over Europe. Therefore, last year I proposed that we try and win over 'Municipal councillors for Europe' in as many cities and municipalities as possible. This idea, too, is currently being implemented with success: a first pilot group consisting of some 60 mayors and municipal representatives from all federal provinces and political parties participated at a kick-off event in February. A service package was developed during the event, featuring a central contact point or a hotline for EU municipal councillors, a fast e-mail information system, further training schemes and follow-up meetings with EU municipal councillors in Vienna."
The Foreign Minister stressed that it would be decisive to integrate the youth in particular in this dialogue – as they will be creating Europe´s future. „Today I proposed to the Federal Government the creation of a network of European delegates in schools in order to firmly integrate the dialogue on Europe into schools:They could become contact partners and coordinators for the information work on Europe in their respective school, and establish regular exchange of opinions among each other on specific projects, activities and best practices“, said Spindelegger.
"The positive echo on the municipal and provincial level shows that the team work approach for the European Dialogue points in the right direction. Only by working together will we be able to explain the European project and the concrete benefits of the EU to the people. We must now consistently continue the European Dialogue at all levels", stressed the Foreign Minister.
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