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Working meeting of President Drnovšek and Austrian President Fischer

Bilčovs/Ludmannsdorf – Austria, 11/09/2005  |  press release, statement

Click to enlargeThe President of the Republic, Dr Janez Drnovšek, today held a meeting with the Federal President of the Republic of Austria, Dr Heinz Fischer. Dr Drnovšek and Dr Fischer exchanged their views on major issues related to the future of the European Union and those featured on the agenda of the Austrian EU presidency in the first half of 2006. A great deal of attention was paid to the situation in the Western Balkans.

After the meeting, President Drnovšek made the following statement:

Click to enlarge“I am delighted that we have met here and that President Fischer has chosen this venue for our meeting, since the bilingual greeting itself we heard today is an expression of the correct minority policy in Austria. Such a policy should be pursued on all points, and I think that this meeting has a symbolic meaning in this context. The Slovene minority in Austria has put forward a number of issues. Recently, certain of them have been solved positively, and during our talk today I expressed my opinion and request that the remaining issues also be resolved in an appropriate manner. This chiefly involves the well-publicised issue of bilingual signs that has still remained unsolved. Nevertheless, I am aware that the Austrian Government and politicians genuinely endeavour to solve this issue and that the Slovene minority indeed enjoys the rights guaranteed to it according to European democratic standards and which Austria as a state indeed recognises and wishes to apply.

Click to enlargeCo-operation between the two countries is indeed excellent, our relations are excellent, economic relations are developing and in today’s talk, too, we have characteristically paid a great deal of attention to European topics and to the topics of South East Europe, which are of interest to us both. Both countries are member states of the European Union: we are neighbours, and I think that this manner of exchanging views is very useful, in particular now before Austria assumes the presidency of the European Union. Soon it will also be Slovenia’s turn to assume the presidency. Since Austria is now facing this very important period of assuming the presidency, in which the Financial Perspective of the European Union 2007–2013 will probably be adopted, I have acquainted President Fischer in more detail with the proposals I have recently addressed to the Heads of State and Government of the European Union regarding the Financial Perspective. I have also explained my view that the ratification process of the European Constitutional Treaty should be continued in all states that have not yet done so, as any other option would be worse for the future of Europe."