Minister for Europe underlines the achievements and challenges of the European Union on the Europe Day
Vienna, 11 May 2015 - “Austria’s membership in the European Union is a success story. Joining the EU has significantly strengthened our economy, multiplied our foreign trade and thus created jobs in Austria. Since 1995 Austria’s companies were able to increase their exports to EU countries from € 33 bn to close to € 88bn. About 18.500 jobs per year and more than 74.000 Erasmus-students are a direct consequence of our EU-Membership. However the crises in our immediate vicinity demonstrate, that the fundamental values and achievements of the EU cannot be taken for granted, not even in 21st century Europe”, says Sebastian Kurz.
“We should use todays Europe Day as food for thought on how we can continue this success story. One of our main concerns is to secure and reinvent the location Europe and the European way of life for the future. The digital challenge, for example, requires Austria and the EU to find new answers”, Federal Minister Kurz continued.
“Our common goal is a Europe closer to the citizens. We need to better explain the benefits of our EU-membership, we need to discuss the problems of Europe more openly and dissipate prejudice on the EU”, underlined Sebastian Kurz. In the framework of the European Forum Wachau on 13 June 2015 the Europe-State-Prize, which was initiated by the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, will be awarded for the first time. “This prize honours the initiatives of committed citizens, who contribute in an essential way to the Europe-awareness and understanding of Europe in Austria”, Federal Minister Sebastian Kurz closed.