Luxembourg, 26 June 2012 Press release

Waldner: We congratulate Montenegro on its successful step towards the EU

State Secretary Waldner at the General Affairs Council in Luxembourg

Luxembourg, 26 June 2012 – Several future-oriented items were on the agenda of today’s meeting of the EU General Affairs Council in Luxembourg, including: the initiation of accession negotiations with Montenegro, the preparation of the summit meeting of heads of state and government on June 28th and 29th, and the multi-annual EU budget 2014-2020.

“The fact that Montenegro has successfully taken another step towards EU integration is an important signal for the entire region of Southeast Europe. It shows that reforms pay off and that they are acknowledged by the EU”, Austrian State Secretary Waldner said on the sidelines of the session. According to Waldner, Montenegro has made great efforts over the past few months and demonstrated its serious commitment to European integration. “This does not mean that Montenegro has established European standards in all areas; the fight against corruption and organized crime in particular need to be pursued persistently. There will be time to get ahead with these tasks, however, during the accession negotiations when all legal domains will be examined down to the most minute detail and adjusted to EU standards”, the State Secretary continued.

Another item on the agenda of the Council was the preparation of the summit meeting of heads of state and government on June 28th and 29th. The focus of the summit meeting will be on initiatives promoting the economic growth of the EU. In this context, a draft for a “Growth and Employment Pact” was presented that will be discussed at the European Council.

Last night, the report of the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso, ECB President Mario Draghi and the President of the Euro Group Jean-Claude Juncker was presented that proposes the future design of the economic, monetary and fiscal policy at EU level.

”I welcome these proposals for pointing a way out of the economic crisis after the crisis mitigation measures taken in the past few months. It is important now that the Euro zone and the internal market be strengthened in the medium and long term. It is time to repair the faulty design of the economic and monetary union and to put Europe on solid feet. At the same time, we will also have to take short-term measures in the banking sector to put an end to the negative spiral of banks depending on public emergency funds”, Waldner said.

During the discussion of the multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020, the negotiating paper developed under the Danish presidency was discussed. Waldner said that in this area too, attention needed to be paid to future-oriented topics. Investment in research and education, transport projects and the preservation of extensive farming are important for Austria in this respect.

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