European Movement Germany Briefing: Austrian Council Presidency
Recently, the European Movement Germany organised a briefing to present the priorities of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The event was opened by a welcome speech by Richard N. Kühnel, the representative of the European Commission in Germany. This was followed by a symbolic handing over of the Presidency of the Council from Bulgaria to Austria by the Bulgarian Ambassador HE Radi Naidenov to his Austrian counterpart SE Dr. Peter Huber. In his speech, the Austrian Ambassador expressly thanked the Bulgarian representatives for their good work in the past six months and provided a first overview of the agenda of the Austrian Presidency for the next six months.
The agenda includes the early completion of the Multi-annual Financial Framework, the conclusion of the Brexit negotiations and the finalisation of as many many dossiers as possible. Austria also wants to pay particular attention to the topic of illegal migration within the European Union in the coming months.
In addition, Ambassador Dr. Huber reiterated the importance of Europe sharing current challenges and maintaining its global competitiveness. It is particularly important to secure Europe’s competitiveness in this age of increasing digitization, also with regard to competition from countries such as the United States and China. Furthermore, as in the past, Austria wants to continue its efforts to bring the Western Balkan countries closer to the European Union. Another central concern of the Austrian EU Presidency is to help reform the European asylum system. In addition, the Austrian Presidency wishes to promote international dialogue between the European Union and Russia and the African countries.
It also aims to strengthen the proximity of citizens between the European Union and its citizens. Thus, during the Austrian Presidency, further civil dialogues will take place and, in general, the contact between European intuitions and their populations will be developed and further strengthened. Here, too, Austria sees itself as a bridge builder within the European Union.
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