Vienna, 8 February 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: "Shared commitment to European Neighbourhood Policy"

Foreign Minister meets with Estonian counterpart

Vienna, 8 February 2010 - "Relations between Austria and Estonia are excellent. We are collaborating successfully at the bilateral, European and international levels. The special quality of our relations is also demonstrated by the fact that we are of the same opinion as regards essential foreign policy themes. All the same, there is still potential for further development in many areas. With regard to the future organisation of the European Foreign Service it is particularly important that small and medium-sized states cooperate closely in order to safeguard their interests," stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger following talks with his Estonian counterpart, Urmas Paet.

The two foreign ministers also discussed possibilities of closer cooperation in the Western Balkans and in Eastern Europe, particularly in the field of development cooperation: "We share a joint interest and commitment to European Neighbourhood Policy. While Austria can make a valuable contribution in the Western Balkans, we can benefit from Estonia’s knowledge of the EU’s Eastern European neighbours," affirmed the Foreign Minister, adding that "we are also interested in Estonia’s experiences in connection with the implementation of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea. We regard it as a possible model for the EU Strategy for the Danube Region, which Austria initiated and which is currently being elaborated."

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