Interview with Fischler, FranzFrom the The European Commission 1986-2000. Memories of an institution Collection
Recorded in 09 February 2016 Vienna
Interview by Michael Gehler in English
Dr Franz Fischler, who was appointed as Commissioner for Agricultural Policy in 1995 told us first how he got this position. Then he touched the long road of Austria joining the European Communities when answering the changes of the integration of Europe’s policy pursued by Austria before 1989 and after 1989. There were more domestic problems in order to apply than international or foreign policy circumstances. The "letter to Brussels" on 17th of July 1989 was compromise solution between the Socialist and People's Party especially with regard to the preservation of Austria's neutrality. Then Fischler focused on Austria’s EU-entry negotiations 1993-1994 where he was involved as an Austrian Minister of Agriculture. The agricultural policies solutions which could be found in the end were successful and contributed to the breakthrough of the negotiations. Fischler then explains how it was possible that on 12 June 1994 over 66 % of the Austrian population voted for joining. Then he went to the most critical portfolio of agriculture in the Commission Jacques Santer when the BSE problem became evident and crisis management had to be developed, which was a heavy task. Fischler told us also what he could achieve during his term in office of agriculture and fishery policies under
the Commission Romano Prodi especially the reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for that period from 1995 to 2004.
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