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70th Anniversary of the European Forum Alpbach

It all started on a meadow in 1945 – and has developed into a global institution thanks to numerous supporters. The Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and 400 guests congratulated the “Festival of Ideas” on its unique success story at the 70th anniversary celebration in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art.

The European Forum Alpbach was founded 70 years ago – and this is why Franz Fischler, President of the European Forum Alpbach, and his team invited international guests to celebrate in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art. Apart from EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Shalini Randeria, Rector of the Viennese Institute for Human Sciences, and Austrian Federal President Heinz Fischer, around 400 guests from academia, the economy and politics participated in the event, among them Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Rudolf Hundstorfer, the Austrian Minister for Social Affairs, Austrian Agriculture Minister Andrä Rupprechter, Eva Glawischnig, Head of the Austrian Greens, as well as Matthias Strolz, founder and head of the party Neos, former Austrian Finance Minister and entrepreneur Hannes Androsch and the Forum’s Honorary Presidents Erhard Busek and Heinrich Pfusterschmid-Hardtenstein. Elisabeth Waltz-Urbancic and Ivo Fischer represented those “Alpbacher”, who had already been present at the very first event in 1945.

Federal President Heinz Fischer and Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz looked back on their Alpbach memories. Shalini Randeria, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences, took a critical stance and demanded more openness and readiness to learn from Europeans. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called for more integration, a closer cooperation between EU Member States and reinforcing the community method. Milana Sredojevic, the speaker of the Forum Alpbach Network, wished the Forum that more ideas generated in Alpbach would be transformed into action in the future.

Video: Keynote Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EU-Commission
(Credit: EC Audiovisual Service)

Audio: Keynote Shalini Randeria, director of IWM

The Anniversary Motto: A Journey to New Ideas
The European Forum Alpbach offered its guests what it can do best: a platform of exchange of knowledge and ideas. The guests had the opportunity to discover new methods of generating ideas or to listen to the Alpbach anecdotes of insiders like Hannes Androsch or Elisabeth Waltz-Urbancic. The Museum of Applied Arts was transformed into a cinema in order to show the Alpbach documentary by Austrian director Kurt Langbein, which will premiere in Alpbach on August 22, 2015. Young representatives of the Forum Alpbach Network from 25 different countries gathered in the Alpbach Café and shared not only information about their work but also about the history of the European Forum Alpbach with the guests.

70th Anniversary of the European Forum Alpbach in pictures
Credits: Luiza Puiu & Philipp Naderer