In October 2021, Martin Schulz, the President of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, visited Vienna together with Sabine Fandrych, Secretary-General. During their three-day-visit, they discussed the work of the FES Regional Office for International Cooperation in Vienna and met with political partners of FES.
They were welcomed in the town hall of Vienna by mayor Michael Ludwig, and had a chance to discuss the current political events with the former president of Austria, Heinz Fischer, currently chairing the Ban-Ki-Moon Centre Vienna and the president of the International Institute for Peace, Hannes Swoboda. The challenges for European democracy were at the center of meetings with Shalini Randeria, the president of the Central European University and an evening event co-organised by FES, the Bruno Kreisky International Forum, and the Dr. Karl-Renner-Institut. A panel with Martin Schulz, historian Philipp Ther, Hungarian political activist Nóra Schultz, and the Renner-Institute’s director Maria Maltschnig debated the possibilities of a renewal of European democracies.
Peace and European Security were the topic of a closed round-table meeting with members of the FES-initiated expert network FLEET (Fresh Look at Eastern European Trends) as well as a lively discussion with Helga Schmid, secretary-general of the OSCE. The visit concluded with a meeting with Austrian president Alexander van der Bellen in the Hofburg, and a social-democratic family reunion with Pamela Rendi-Wagner, the head of Austria’s social-democratic party SPÖ, Doris Bures, vice-president of the Austrian parliament and MP Jörg Leichtfried.