News archive - Plassnik Calling for Reform to Further Ease Visa Regime

In the framework of the regional prime minister's meeting on Stability in South-eastern Europe which was held in Salzburg on July 28, 2007, Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik reinforced that Balkan states need to continue judicial and security reforms if they want the current EU visa restrictions for their citizens to be dropped.

"Visa freedom does not come free of charge," Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik noted. She also claimed that reforms should not be implemented "only as a favour to he EU."

The conference brought together prime ministers Sali Berisha of Albania, Ivo Sanader of Croatia, Zeljko Sturanovic of Montenegro and Vasile Tarlev of Moldova, as well as Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer, Austrian foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik and the Special Co-ordinator of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, Erhard Busek.

Commenting on the Salzburg meeting, Special Co-ordinator Busek said: “It was a very pragmatic meeting aimed at raising awareness on a number of pressing problems, such as energy, the Danube and visa facilitation. The forthcoming Energy Ministerial meeting on 28 November will hopefully move ahead in defining concrete investment projects with a cross-border dimension. On the Danube a consensus evolved on the importance to embark on concrete steps for the development of this key development axis.”
The meeting also touched on the ratification and subsequent implementation of the CEFTA 2006 agreement, the role of the future Regional Co-operation Council, which is expected to replace the Stability Pact in early 2008 and other issues such as closer economic ties, education policies and steps towards EU integration.

Stability Pact Press Release
Further sources:, Vijesti, Dnevni Avaz - 30/07/07; MIA, Makfax, AFP, Hina, Mina - 29/07/07

Entry created by Elke Dall on July 31, 2007
Modified on July 31, 2007