Vienna, 19 October 2012 – “In my capacity as State Secretary, I attach great importance to intensive contacts to our partners in the EU. There are always EU issues in need of discussion, such as the re-negotiation of the EU budget, matters of foreign policy or the future design of the EU itself. Hence, bilateral relations between EU member states are of special importance and these relationships need to be carefully maintained”, State Secretary Lopatka said at a meeting of ambassadors of EU member states domiciled in Vienna. The meeting was held upon the invitation of the Cypriot EU Presidency.
In the light of current events, the State Secretary explained the position of Austria’s foreign policy concerning the Western Balkans and the current developments in the Arab world. “The EU can and must contribute its share to peace, stability and prosperity in its neighbourhood. This holds true for both the Western Balkans and our neighbours south of the EU. By providing 51% of the global humanitarian aid for Syria and its neighbouring countries, the EU is sending a clear message of solidarity with the civil population that is suffering as a result of the conflict. To be perceived as a powerful actor, it is even more important that the EU speak with one voice in global issues and show cohesion in its external action”, Lopatka said.
In the discussion about Europe, Lopatka was in favour of establishing a Convention to strengthen the EU institutional basis. Also on the agenda were current events at the European level. “After difficult years of crisis management, Europe now needs to look forward and address issues of relevance for the future.”
“We must be courageous and discuss the future design of Europe in terms of its economy and currency. I welcome the fact that the European Council today decided to commission the development of a legal structure for a single European banking supervision mechanism by 1 January 2013. This is another important step in the right direction. Europe must do everything to remain in the lead in global competition with a well-positioned euro and a healthy economic structure”, Lopatka concluded.
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