Demand paper Europa-Forum Wachau 2022

European Forum Wachau demands paper presented to EU Parliament President
LR Eichtinger: Countrymen want greater involvement of young people and energy independence
As part of the Wachau European Forum in Göttweig and the associated salons, the state of Lower Austria and the Danube University Krems collected the concerns of the local population on current issues. The findings of the public participation process, in which a total of over 7,000 people took part, were incorporated into the Wachau European Forum demands paper, which has now been presented in Brussels.

This time, Lower Austria's "blue and yellow mission" to Europe includes four demands: In addition to the demand for more stability through the EU and the strengthening of the healthcare system in order to be able to react more effectively to global crises, the focus was on young people and energy independence: "The EU must become more autonomous. Europe stands for security and stability, but this security requires more independence. Energy policy must change quickly, Europe must fully utilise the possibilities of the energy transition. Only a few weeks ago, Lower Austria therefore signed a co-operation agreement with Bavaria to drive forward developments in the field of hydrogen technology," said EU State Councillor Martin Eichtinger.

"Lower Austria is one of the most active regions in Europe and regularly contributes to the European discourse with professional suggestions for improvement. Bringing Europe closer to the citizens and into the regions is a central concern for us," Martin Eichtinger, Provincial Councillor for Europe, is convinced. "Europe needs model regions. The fact that Lower Austria is such a model region was recently confirmed to us by Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, at Lower Austria's centenary celebrations," said Eichtinger. For example, the citizen participation model of the Europa-Forum Wachau-Salons was used as a model for similar initiatives.

Provincial Councillor Eichtinger was able to hand over the EFW demands paper to Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, Maroš Šefčovič, Vice President of the European Commission, Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen, Director General of the European Commission, and Silvan Agius, advisor to EU Commissioner Helena Dalli, in the course of working meetings. At the meeting with Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen, they also exchanged views on the European local councils.

The results of the citizen participation process show that young people would like to be more closely involved in the EU's decision-making process. Here too, in the "European Year of Youth", Lower Austria is calling for young people to be better involved in the decision-making process. This is also relevant to the labour market: "The competition for talent on the labour market is fierce and Europe must recognise that today's young people have new demands on their everyday working lives in order to meet the requirements for a good work-life balance," says Eichtinger.

Demand paper Europa-Forum Wachau 2022