Vranitzky, Dr. Franz
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A joint meeting of The Empire Club of Canada and The Canadian Club of Toronto.
As of January 1, 1995, Austria has become a member of the European Union. The effects of all these changes and five factors which characterise the new situation. Reaching the limits of effective national policy-making in view of these changes. Mastering the challenges facing Austria through joint strategies and common action. Political decisions being put to a global test day after day. Politics becoming a constant effort to reach higher international standards in terms of the economy, regional planning, technology, social and educational structures. Why the Austrian federal government strove for EU-membership. Ensuring the competitiveness of Austria's industries. Designing and implementing new, future-oriented strategies for qualitative and quantitative growth. Three of the most important points of leverage. Remarks about the goal of creating a single currency within Europe. Developing a programme for social convergence as a complement to the Economic and Monetary Union, to prevent a distortion of the internal market through social dumping. Facing ecological problems. Integration of the new democracies. Austria launching a regional intitiative to develop infrastructure in the Eastern neighbouring countries in the areas of transport, energy, telecommunications and the environment. Encouraging private investment. Violent conflicts as part of political realities--the danger of the emergence of new demarcation lines in Europe. The need to establish a comprehensive European peace order. Constructing a co-operative partnership with Russia and the Ukraine. Contributions from Austria in peacekeeping. Advocating an open-door policy of co-operation with other regions in the world. International co-operation giving Austria the possibility to shape the vision of a united, peaceful world inspired by solidarity with its friends. Finding in Austria a reliable partner in Canada's efforts to move closer to these goals.