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Meetings Calendar 2006
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Plassnik: EU is capable of learning

 

Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik remarked on a "fresh impulse" via a “Conference of Encouragement" with practicable proposals for the European Union. She expressed her confidence that the EU is much more capable of learning than many would like to believe and has potential for collaboration which has by no means been exhausted. The subsidiarity principle would serve to strengthen people's faith in the European Union. This was a principle which was neither abstract nor academic, but rather a principle about practical life such as all people can experience in their families and in their communities: decisions should be made at the level that is appropriate and makes sense.

Going into detail on individual topics, she explained that the Austrian Presidency wanted to give new impetus to the Balkans issue and put the emphasis on the Union's ability to absorb new members, while warning against illusions. With reference to the Constitutional Treaty, Plassnik made it clear that it would not be possible to break the deadlock on this front during the Austrian Presidency, although this would certainly not be for want of trying, but rather because the topic had not yet sufficiently matured in many Member States. This did not mean that things were at a deadlock in the EU, added Plassnik, and announced the holding of an informal meeting of foreign ministers on the topic “Future Tasks for Europe”. She felt that subsidiarity was the "adhesive substance" between the various levels of action in Europe, both as a basis for political action and as a legal principle. In this process communication was an important task, a “household remedy” against the democracy deficit in the EU, for a Europe from below.

 

Date: 24.04.2006