It is with great sadness that we announce that Dr. Erhard Busek, former Vice-Chancellor of Austria, member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg passed away on March 13, 2022.
Dr. Busek, a law graduate, started his career as a legal advisor to the Austrian People’s Party, rising to top positions in the Party: he was head of the Party’s Vienna branch from 1979 to 1989, then chairman of the Party from 1989 to 1991. From 1978 to 1987 he served as vice-mayor of Vienna, from 1989 to 1991 as Minister for Science and Research, finally from 1991 to 1995 he was vice-chancellor and also responsible for the Ministry for Higher Education and Arts. After leaving the government, he played a decisive role in positioning Central Europe within the European integration process. He did this both as a great intellectual (teaching at a number of universities, being awarded several honorary doctorates, his recent book written together with Prof. Emil Brix on Central Europe was published in Hungarian and English with the support of our Institute), and a politician (among others he was Austrian government commissioner for EU enlargement and coordinator of the South-East-European Stability Pact). From 1995 up to now the basis of his manyfold activities was the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) in Vienna.
He supported our foundation and Institute in all his qualities, rendering direct personal help to some of our colleagues. His mindset was in perfect harmony with the program of our Institute: he has built well-constructed bridges between scholarship and arts, as well as between states and civil societies. We are most grateful for having had the opportunity to learn from the life’s work of Dr. Erhard Busek, a great Central European architect of Europe.