A conference marking the 130th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Austria was opened in Vienna in the presence of the two countries Speakers of Parliament
A conference marking the 130th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Austria was opened in Vienna in the presence of the two countries Speakers of Parliament
November 23, 2009
The President of the National Assembly Tsetska Tsacheva and the President of the National Council of Austria, the lower chamber of the Austrian Parliament, Barbara Pramer took part , November 23, 2009 in Vienna in the opening of a conference dedicated to the 130th year since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Austria. The forum , organized by the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, has gathered in the Austrian capital, many diplomats, representatives of institutions and friends of Bulgaria. The conference was attended also by the president of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe and former vice-chancellor Dr Erhard Busek.
In her address to the participants, Tsetska Tsacheva noted that the traditionally closed relations between Bulgarians and Austrians have become strong and stable over the years due to the values of freedom and independence, respect for the rights and dignity of the individual, for renovation and modernization, shared by the two people. She noted that the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy was the first Western European great power to send a diplomatic envoy to the Principality of Bulgaria after the Liberation. So on July 7, 1879 with the appointment of Count Rudolf von Kevenhyuler for a diplomatic agent in Bulgaria the diplomatic relations between the Principality of Bulgaria and the Austro-Hungarian Empire were launched. The Chair of the Bulgarian Parliament said in her address that the special feature of the long–standing Bulgarian-Austrian relations was rooted in the fact that the latter have always contributed to the renewal and modernization of Bulgaria. Bulgarians keep in their historic memory the time during the Revival when Vienna was the center of printing and publishing of Bulgarian books and recalled that in the period 1845 – 1878 a total of 334 books were printed in the Austrian capital and among them the first one in Bulgarian language.
National Assembly President has drawn particular attention to the contacts between Bulgarian and Austrian universities, which have always been an important aspect of the bilateral cooperation. Tsetska Tsacheva said that in the last years Austria has increased significantly the number of Bulgarian students, which currently represent the largest group among foreign students.
The speech of the President of the National Assembly focused around the prospects for cooperation between Bulgaria and Austria within the European Union. Tsetska Tsacheva noted that the two countries were facing now new prospects for cooperation in the Danube and Black Sea regions. Danube is a symbol of Europe's future and the Danube region - engine of economic growth, "she said. The Chairwoman of the National Assembly has repeatedly stressed that Bulgaria strongly supports the currently under preparation by the EU strategy for the Danube region, arguing that such strategic document will strengthen the European identity of the Danube Region. The development of cooperation with all the countries along the Danube in the economic, political, cultural fields and in the interaction between people is an expression of classical European policy, noted Tsetska Tsacheva. She pointed out that in Bulgaria, at the present moment, it was important to concentrate efforts on the implementation of concrete projects oriented strongly towards infrastructure development projects such as the Bridge over Danube River - 2, on projects in the fields of energy, economy and tourism.
The President of the National Council of Austria Barbara Pramer indicated that the 130-year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bulgaria and Austria today has a strong economic terms. She noted that the global financial and economic crisis had not weaken the interest of Austrian business in Bulgaria and it was showing increasing interest in our country. Barbara Pramer recalled that Austria ranks first in the list of foreign investors in Bulgaria for the period 1996 - 2008, the Austrian investment during the period was worth EURO 5,426.5 billion.
The Chair of Bulgaria’s Parliament was joined at the Conference by Vladislav Dimitrov, Chairman of the friendship group Bulgaria - Austria in the 41st National Assembly. In the newly established Group for friendship with Bulgaria in the Austrian Parliament members became many parliamentarians, small and medium business representatives and this according to the Chairman Mario Kunasek was further evidence of the desire to expand the economic cooperation with Bulgaria, he assured his Bulgarian counterpart.