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General information

The Salzburg Forum, based on an Austrian initiative taken in 2000, is a platform for multilateral dialogue and cooperation on issues of internal security. 

The principal idea of the founding states of the Salzburg Forum in 2000 was to support the European integration of Austria’s Eastern neighbours and to facilitate their efforts towards EU accession.

The area of ​​internal security in connection with the upcoming "eastern enlargement" of the EU was the common theme of discussions in order to: 

  • build area of ​​freedom, security and justice among the participating countries (then Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Czech Republic)
  • create an effective protection of the future EU external borders through the implementation and enforcement of the Schengen acquis.

Salzburg Declaration in 2001 defined the following key topics of cooperation: police cooperation, border control, illegal migration, harmonization of asylum standards and procedures and regular exchange of information and positions on these issues.

Over time, the nature of SF and goals of cooperation varies. The membership base has been expanding at the same time. Currently the members of the SF are: Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia.

After the great "eastern enlargement" of EU, cooperation between SF focuses on topics discussed at the EU level (coordination of positions, promotion of common interests in the EU).

SF negotiating capacity in the EU was further strengthened by the entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the EU - according to the current system SF countries dispose of the blocking minority, ie. they can block the adoption of a legislative act within the EU in co-decision procedure (it was extended by the Lisbon Treaty, with some exceptions, to all areas, including home affairs policy). There is also the SF expansion of cooperation with the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe (including assistance to these countries on their way to the EU - with the adoption of EU norms).

In August 2010, the Ministers of SF adopted Salzburg Forum Vision 2020. This paper summarizes developments in the past, current status and future possibilities of cooperation, which should lead to more effective action of SF. The current cooperation has 3 main directions: regional cooperation, coordination of positions on the issues discussed at the EU level and the external dimension of the SF activity.


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