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Vienna, 04.07.2018 Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF) starts the EU presidency by marking 50 years of the customs union

Vienna (OTS) – “The European customs union has achieved a great deal,” emphasised Finance Minister Hartwig Löger on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the customs union. The Finance Minister and Financial State Secretary Hubert Fuchs were the hosts at the celebration marking this anniversary, which coincides with Austria’s assumption of the EU presidency.

Numerous national and international guests from industry and government attended the event on 4 July 2018 at the Winter Palace of Prince Eugene.

“The EU customs union is not only the biggest and most efficient customs union in the world, it is also an important pillar for the success of the EU as an economic community. Without the proper functioning of our customs union, for both incoming and outgoing goods, there would be no free movement of goods between the Member States,” said Finance Minister Löger.

The range of tasks undertaken by the customs union is very diverse, extending from security and protection to the promotion of competitive capability of the EU as a business location and the securing of the EU budget.

As part of the celebration event, the future of the customs union was discussed by leading figures such as Wolfram Senger-Weiss, chairman of the Management Board of Austria’s biggest freight company, and Valerie-Lisa Szczepanskis from the management of the well known Austrian confectionery manufacturer Josef Manner&Comp. AG.

As head of department and current Chairman of the European Economic and Financial Affairs Council, Finance Minister Löger stressed in his final words:

“We know that the challenges we face in international trade and in regard to the customs union are becoming more complex and fast-moving, but we will prepare to meet these challenges in terms of the legal principles involved, staffing and appropriate IT support. In our presidency we have set up an important initiative, a joint customs administration charter. This Political Declaration will be signed by me together with my colleagues in the department and Commissioner Moscovici on 12 July in Brussels, and is intended to ensure that the customs union will in future continue as a strong pillar of the internal market, with the focus on the protection of citizens and the facilitation of trade.”