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Freedom of Speech at Universities: What Is (Still) Acceptable?

Plenary / Civil and Human Rights
in deutscher Sprache

How far does freedom of speech go in universities? If, for example, we listen to people who defame democracy, the rule of law or fundamental rights, do we legitimise their extreme views? Or is it more dangerous for democracy to ban particular opinions from public debate?

Rector, University of Siegen
Rector, University of Vienna
Professor for Fundamental and Human Rights, University of Vienna; Scientific Director, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, Vienna
Executive Committee, Austrian Students Union, Vienna
District Chairwoman, FPÖ Graz-Geidorf; Chairwoman, RFS - Ring Freiheitlicher Studenten Styria, Graz
Editor, Die Presse, Vienna Chair


Rector, University of Siegen

1990 Ph.D. (Dr. phil.) in Philosophy, University of Cologne
1997 Postdoctoral qualification (Habilitation) in Philosophy, University of Cologne
2005-2006 Vice Dean for Studies and Teaching, Faculty of Human Sciences, University of Cologne
2007-2009 Prorector for Teaching, Studies and Study reform, University of Cologne
since 2008 Professorship for Anthropology and Ethics in Curative Education, taking special Account of People with Disabilities, University of Cologne
since 2009 Rector, University of Siegen
2012-2019 Member of the Executive Board of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), Vice President for Teaching, Learning, Teacher Training, and Lifelong Learning
2015-2019 Board member of the European University Association (EUA)

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Dr. h.c. Heinz W. ENGL

Rector, University of Vienna

1977 Doctoral degree awarded "sub auspiciis praesidentis", University of Linz
since 1988 Full Professor and holder of the Chair for Industrial Mathematics, University of Linz
2003-2011 Director, RICAM - Johann Radon Institute for Computational and Applied Mathematics, Austrian Academy of Sciences
since 2003 Full Member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (Corresponding Member since 2000)
since 2011 Rector, University of Vienna

Dr. Michael Lysander FREMUTH

Professor for Fundamental and Human Rights, University of Vienna; Scientific Director, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, Vienna

1999-2004 Studies of Law, University of Cologne
2005 First State Exam
2009 PhD, Supranationality of the EU
2010 Second State Exam
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, USA, Visiting Scholar
2013-2019 President of the German UN Association in Bonn
2014 University of Pretoria, South Africa, Visiting Scholar
2017 Habilitation and Venia Docendi for Public International, European Union and Constitutional Law
Kant University, Kaliningrad, Russian Federation; Turkish-German University, Istanbul, Turkey, Visiting Scholar
2018-2019 Universities Bayreuth, Berlin and Trier (Associate Professor)
since 2019 Professor for Fundamental and Human Rights, University of Vienna; Scientific Director, Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights


Executive Committee, Austrian Students Union, Vienna

since 2015 Study of educational science (University of Vienna)
since 2019 Executive committee Austrian Students Union


District Chairwoman, FPÖ Graz-Geidorf; Chairwoman, RFS - Ring Freiheitlicher Studenten Styria, Graz

2010-2015 studies in Economics and Political Science (VWL), Russian as business language, Karl-Franzens-University Graz
2012-2019 studies in Environmental Systems Sciences / Natural Sciences-Technology, Graz University of Technology & Karl-Franzens-University Graz
2016 Observatory for Satellite Geodesy Lustbühel, Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), Graz
since 2017 Chairwoman, RFS-Ring Freiheitlicher Studenten, District Chairwoman, FPÖ Graz-Geidorf
since 2018 Contract agent of the Federal Ministry of Defense
since 2019 Ambitions of international cooperation and cultural exchange ( Kazan Federal University, Russia; Protestantic Church of Zambia, Southern Africa)

Mag., LL.M. Anna-Maria WALLNER

Editor, Die Presse, Vienna

2000-2004 Studium der Rechtswissenschaften, Universität Wien
2002-2006 Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Saxinger, Chalupsky und Partner, heute: Weber & Co
2004-2005 Österreichische Volksanwaltschaft
2005-2006 Gerichtsjahr (Bezirksgericht für Handelssachen, Straflandesgericht Wien und Handelsgericht Wien)
2006 Lehrredaktion "Die Presse". Ressorts: Chronik, Feuilleton, Wirtschaft
  Europäisches Forum Alpbach, Redakteurin bei den "Alpbach News"
2008 Leitung der Lehrredaktion, Innsbrucker Straßenzeitung "20er"
2009-2010 Master of Laws in Informationsrecht und Rechtsinformation, Universität Wien
seit 2006 Redakteurin Tageszeitung "Die Presse"

Political and Legal Symposia

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17:00 - 18:45Opening of the Political SymposiumPlenary
19:45 - 20:45Promoting Stability in Wider Europe: The Role of the EU and the OSCEPlenary
20:30 - 21:00POLITICO Happy HourSocial


08:00 - 09:00ABGESAGT POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
08:00 - 09:00DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 13:30An Update on European Union LawBreakout
09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Mindfulness HikeBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 01: Promoting the SDGs in Europe with a Global MindsetBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 02: Experimental Government and the Story of Basic Income in FinlandBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 03: Demography and DemocracyBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 04: Digital Diplomacy vs Digital ColonialismBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 05: How We Benefit from Empowering the Young in PoliticsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 06: Lost in Translation? The EU’s Struggle to Speak with One Voice on Foreign PolicyBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 07: Extremism, Disinformation and the Role of New TechnologiesBreakout
14:00 - 18:00Democracy BootcampBreakout
14:00 - 15:30Opening of the Legal SymposiumPlenary
14:00 - 16:00Liberty and Responsibility: Two Sides of the Same Coin?Partner
14:00 - 16:00Security Radar 2019: Wake-up Call for Europe!Partner
16:00 - 17:00Growing Sustainably: Africa on the MovePlenary
16:00 - 17:30Ideology in the Courtroom: How Impartial Are Judges?Plenary
17:30 - 18:30What Can Be Done against the Climate Crisis?Plenary
18:00 - 19:30How Free Is the Press Across the EU?Plenary
19:00 - 20:00What Does the World Think? A Conversation on Fundamental Philosophical QuestionsPlenary
20:00 - 23:30ReceptionSocial
20:00 - 22:00European-Israeli DinnerSocial
20:30 - 21:30Less Freedom for More Security?Plenary


08:00 - 09:00DER STANDARD Morning BriefingPlenary
08:00 - 09:00POLITICO Morning BriefingPlenary
09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Mindfulness HikeBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 08: Emissions Trading: an Effective Way to Reduce EmissionsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 09: When Machines Judge PeopleBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 10: How Free Should Trade Be? The Development of European Standards for Trade and Foreign Direct InvestmentsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 11: International Arms Trade Regulations: A Call for ActionBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 12: Does More Digital Freedom Automatically Mean Less Legal Security?Breakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 13: New Wars – New EpidemicsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 14: Human Rights Under Pressure: The Role of Ombudspersons and National Human Rights InstitutionsBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 15: Security through Liberty: About the Will for Public OrderBreakout
10:00 - 12:00Breakout Session 16: A Pathway to Sustainable Business TransformationBreakout
14:00 - 15:30‘Soft Power’ or Defence Union? Military Cooperation in the European UnionPlenary
14:00 - 15:30The Struggle for the Rule of Law: Is the EU Fighting a Losing Battle?Plenary
14:00 - 18:00LAW Working GroupsBreakout
14:00 - 18:00Let’s Talk!Breakout
16:00 - 17:30Freedom of Speech at Universities: What Is (Still) Acceptable?Plenary
16:30 - 17:45Liberty and Security in the Context of International RelationsPlenary
18:15 - 19:15How Much Courage Does the Law Need?Plenary
20:30 - 22:00Speakers’ NightPlenary


09:00 - 12:00Alpbach Mindfulness HikeBreakout
09:30 - 11:00Brexit: Departure into the UnknownPlenary
11:30 - 13:00Tackling Complexity: Insights from the Alpbach Learning MissionsPlenary