Vienna, 15 January 2013 – Talks between State Secretary Lopatka and State Secretary Belling mainly focused on the consolidation of economic and monetary union and the upcoming EU budget, the multi-annual financial framework 2014-2020. “I welcome the fact that, towards the end of last year, a roadmap was agreed upon that outlines the next steps to be taken within the European economic and monetary area. Last year’s reforms will make an important contribution towards preventing misguided developments like the ones that manifested themselves after the global financial and economic crisis and towards maintaining the EU’s global competitiveness. 2013 will be an important year for implementing the uniform system for banking supervision and detailing further elements of the banking union. Naturally, it is also essential that all the Euro states consolidate and stabilise their national budgets. Personally, I believe that the communitisation of debts at this time would be a misguided signal”, said State Secretary Lopatka on the consolidation of the economic and monetary union.
“I am in favour of stricter rules and monitoring mechanisms also with regard to the EU budget for 2014-2020. We must ensure that available funds are spent in a more responsible manner. The motto of the net payers is “better spending instead of more spending”. As a recipient country, the Czech Republic has also endorsed this principle from the very start. For the next round of negotiations at heads of state and government level, the Austrian Chancellor must also ensure that Austria will not be worse off in future than other net payers. For this reason, we must continue to campaign for our discount. Unless a solution to this question is found, our payments will rise disproportionately in future”, emphasised Lopatka, who has represented Austria’s position in numerous negotiation rounds at ministerial level.
On a bilateral level, current developments such as the presidential elections in the Czech Republic were also discussed. “Austria and the Czech Republic maintain excellent bilateral relations and close ties, in particular in an economic context – the Czech Republic is Austria’s third most important trading partner in the EU. As is the case in all close relationships, there will be differences in opinion here and there, for instance in the nuclear question which I have also addressed today. Such issues must be discussed and resolved fairly and based on cooperative partnership”, concluded the State Secretary.
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