President Pahor and Federal President Van der Bellen affirm excellent relations between the countries in Vienna and speak in favour of a joint commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Carinthian Plebiscite

Vienna, 13. 6. 2019 | press release

At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Austria, Dr Alexander Van der Bellen, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is on an official visit to the Republic of Austria. This is the second official meeting of the presidents within the framework of ongoing regular dialogue at the presidential level.

President Pahor and Federal President Van der Bellen affirm excellent relations between the countries in Vienna and speak in favour of a joint commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Carinthian Plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

As part of the official visit, President Pahor met his host, President Van der Bellen. He introduced to the Austrian President the initiative for both countries to commemorate together the one hundredth anniversary of the Carinthian Plebiscite next year. The presidents agreed that the celebration should be regarded as an opportunity to look towards the future and strengthen mutual relations. They concluded that the event could be seen as an opportunity to thoughtfully take realistic and symbolic steps to connect both nations and countries. "This is a great opportunity to set matters that seemed a historical issue in the context of the future, where they may be viewed as solutions," said the Slovenian President in his statement after the discussions.

President Pahor then met Dr Brigitte Bierlein, Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Austria, and mag. Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the National Council of the Republic of Austria.

During their discussions, the President and Federal Chancellor Bierlein expressed satisfaction regarding the excellent relations and successful economic cooperation between both countries with a wish to deepen cooperation in science and culture. The discussion partners agreed that the cooperation of both countries within the year of neighbourly dialogue 2020, which will further integrate both countries, will be important for nurturing and enhancing the already good neighbourly relations. They commended the enlargement process in the Western Balkans and expressed satisfaction about Austria’s cooperation in the transnational nomination of the Lipizzaner horse on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. President Pahor expressed his certainty that the most challenging questions of all may be resolved by dialogue and peacefully.

President Pahor and Federal President Van der Bellen affirm excellent relations between the countries in Vienna and speak in favour of a joint commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Carinthian Plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor and mag. Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the National Council of the Republic of Austria, spoke particularly about international topics, the future of the European Union and the commitment to multilateralism, which is being unfortunately encroached upon by unilateral acts. They confirmed excellent cooperation between both countries and spoke in favour of a strong European Union.

President Pahor and Federal President Van der Bellen affirm excellent relations between the countries in Vienna and speak in favour of a joint commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Carinthian Plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

Presidents Pahor and Van der Bellen concluded the official programme with a visit to the University of Technology. The building of the University of Technology in Vienna was renovated in 2014 and serves as a pioneering example of sustainable construction and renovation of business buildings. It is the first in the world to produce more power than it uses for its operations. It was built in the 1970s and was originally intended for laboratory research. Simultaneously with the renovation, a research project was underway in which an interdisciplinary group of experts in the comprehensive planning procedure developed innovative strategies and technologies for achieving exceptional energy efficiency in business buildings. President Pahor also met Slovenians who study in Vienna.

President Pahor and Federal President Van der Bellen affirm excellent relations between the countries in Vienna and speak in favour of a joint commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Carinthian Plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

We should note that at the initiative of the Austrian President 19 European heads of state and prime ministers, including President Pahor, signed an initiative calling for more ambitious climate action in November 2018. The initiative was adopted a week before the international meeting of leaders in Katowice as part of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the so-called COP24, in which the countries confirmed the rulebook to implement the Paris Agreement.

In the light of more ambitious climate action, President Pahor will host a consultation about the climate future of the world and Slovenia at the Presidential Palace on 27 June.

President Pahor and Federal President Van der Bellen affirm excellent relations between the countries in Vienna and speak in favour of a joint commemoration of the one hundredth anniversary of the Carinthian Plebiscite
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA