It gives me great pleasure to be here in Vienna for this important meeting of the United States and the European Union on Justice and Home Affairs issues.
I’d like to thank Minister Prokop, Minister Gastinger, and all of our Austrian hosts for their hospitality this week and their leadership during the Austrian Presidency of the European Union.
Austria’s leadership has been particularly important in advancing our shared Justice and Home Affairs agenda. This nation contributes heartily to our common vision of peace, freedom, and democracy throughout the world.
I would also like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to engage in today’s discussions with my colleagues from the upcoming Finnish Presidency, and with EU vice-president Frattini and the Council Secretariat.
We have just finished very useful talks regarding further enhancing the already excellent cooperation between the EU and the United States on international terrorism and transnational organized crime.
In the past few years alone, we have reached unprecedented agreements regarding extradition and mutual legal assistance. We’ve also ensured practical cooperation between Europol and law enforcement agencies in the United States.
I am convinced that, under the Austrian Presidency, we will continue to advance our common goal of protecting our citizens from terrorism and organized crime.
Again, I’d like to extend my deep appreciation for the vision and leadership of Ministers Prokop and Gastinger. I look forward to our continued partnership on these important issues…and to the furtherance of our powerful and lasting friendship.