Vienna, 18 March 2010 Press release

“The European life model is an export hit”

Vienna, 18 March 2010 – “Practical, honest dialogue is the most effective means against EU scepticism,” affirmed Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger. This spring, following the kick-off events last November, Spindelegger is again seeking direct talks on the European Union with Austrian citizens.

Together withdistinguished singerBrigitte Fassbaender, who is now director of Tyrol’s Landestheater, mountaineer and author Reinhold Messner, and Tyrolean entrepreneur Arthur Thöni, the Foreign Minister answered questions posed by the audience at today’s Dialogue on Europe in the town of Telfs.

At this event the Foreign Minister pointed out that it was important for Europe to defend its life model in a multi-polar world. Securing the social system and the question as to how jobs can be created and protected play a decisive role in this endeavour. It was also imperative for Europe to further develop its role as a pioneer in the field of environmental protection: “Europe’s life model is an export hit. It is only by joint action that Europe will be strong enough to defend its common interests. A closely co-ordinated European foreign policy is a key factor for this,” added Spindelegger.

As at the earlier events at St. Pölten, Salzburg, Graz and Vienna, those interested were given the opportunity to discover Europe from different angles as well as actively participate in the discussion with the invited guests.

The Foreign Minister also pointed out that the Tyrol was a role model: an economically strong region in the heart of Europe that was closely connected to its neighbour South Tyrol. “Today, South Tyrol’s autonomy is regarded as a role model in the protection of minorities in Europe,” stated the Foreign Minister. Spindelegger also emphasised the importance of the Brenner Base Tunnel as a solution to the trans-Alpine transport problem.

Numerous interested people also took the opportunity to watch the live stream of this event on the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs website.

Federal Ministry for
European and international Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213