06 March 2012

My trip to Austria and back to Brussels

I have had two very good days in Austria with many constructive discussions. The Austrian Chancellor Faymann and Social Minister Hundstorfer yesterday morning showed me a very interesting project called "Jugend am Werk" (which means Youth in Action like the EU program with the same name) and helps disadvantaged young people to learn a craft.  Youth unemployment is one of the big issues we have to deal with in Europe and best practice examples like the one we visited are very important to learn how we can give young people a new perspective. During the day I had very good meetings not just with Werner Faymann but also with Austrian President Fischer and others. In the afternoon, I recorded an interview with ZIB2 presenter Armin Wolf who had the excellent idea to ask his Twitter followers to submit questions that he could ask to me although I do not know whether he asked one of these. Thanks to Mr Wolf I also received many new Twitter followers from Austria yesterday, so if you understand German you might want to watch the interview or follow him on Twitter (@ArminWolf).

This morning I had a working breakfast with Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Spindelegger and his state secretary Mr Waldner with another round of interesting discussions. Then it was soon time to return to Brussels, meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and the Hungarian President Pál Schmitt in the afternoon. Together with my team we also had to prepare tomorrow's weekly meeting of the College of Commissioners (agenda). I will for instance report to my fellow Commissioners about the trip to Austria and also about last week's European Council meeting. This is why now it is time to stop blogging - the meeting starts at 9 am tomorrow morning and I need some rest!

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