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In Memoriam: Erhard Busek (1941-2022)

The European Forum Alpbach (EFA) mourns the loss of its Honorary President, Dr Erhard Busek. The committed European and former Vice-Chancellor passed away in the night from 13 to 14 March 2022. The Executive Board of the European Forum Alpbach, the Secretary General, the European Forum Alpbach clubs, the EFA-Team as well as all like-minded contemporaries are deeply saddened by this loss.


“Europe was his world and nobody else understood Central Europe like he did. He felt it like no other, he lived in it and he lived for it. Erhard Busek is irreplaceable, nobody can fill the void he has left behind; quite simply, we will miss him. From the Baltic States all the way to Albania – we owe him so much in so many positions, over decades. Without Erhard Busek, Central Europe would not be what it is today,” EFA President Andreas Treichl explains. “Without Erhard Busek, the European Forum Alpbach would not be what it is today.”

Mr Busek was President of the European Forum Alpbach from 2000 to 2012 and later on its Honorary President. During his time as EFA president he played a decisive part in modernising, internationalising and rejuvenating the Forum. Long before he started working for the European Forum Alpbach, Mr Busek had a deep relationship with Alpbach, having spent several summers in Tyrol’s Village of Thinkers during his childhood and youth.

As a fervent European with political farsightedness, and as a great visionary, he was noted for his efforts in attaching greater importance to the young people in the European Forum Alpbach. Under his management the Forum Alpbach Network (FAN) was set up. The scholarship programme was significantly extended and made more international. On the global stage he was known as a strong promoter of the European Forum Alpbach; he was also substantially involved in establishing the network in the Balkans.

The first clubs were newly founded with Mr Busek’s support in Innsbruck, Brussels and Vienna; meanwhile the network comprises more than 30 clubs in over 20 countries. The massive expansion of the scholarship programme to include several hundred scholarship holders is yet another of his major accomplishments at EFA. Under his leadership, the face of the European Forum Alpbach was transformed significantly, the young generation was given a far more active role. Throughout his life, Mr Busek never lost faith in young people and their contribution to a strengthened and united Europe.


Erhard Busek maintained very close ties to the entire EFA Team right up until his death. During his presidency and even beyond he left a profound mark on the European Forum Alpbach.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family and friends.



EFA-Memorial Event

On 29 March 2022 the European Forum Alpbach organised an online memorial event to honour Erhard Busek and his work. More than 120 people joined the meeting, and shared stories in memory of Erhard Busek with each other.

We bid farewell to a great mind of Alpbach, a visionary and a trailblazer.