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8th Europa Lecture

Austria and Europe: on the eve of Austria's EU Presidency

  • Prof. Heinz Fischer, former President of Austria
Friday 8 June 2018
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Klein Auditorium

On 1 July 2018, Austria will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. In his Europa Lecture on the eve of Austria's EU Presidency, former President of Austria Prof. Heinz Fischer will shed light on Austria’s history from the Republic’s foundation in 1918 to the Anschluss in 1938, its regained independence in 1945 and EU membership in 1995 up to Austria’s 2018 EU Presidency that coincides with the country's 100th anniversary.

Presidency of the Council

Austria will hold the EU Presidency for the third time after holding the position in 1998 and 2006. However the forthcoming Presidency differs from the previous ones. With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the role of the rotating Presidency has changed due to the creation of the posts of the President of the European Council and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, as well as the extension of competences of the European Parliament. As holder of the Council Presidency, Austria will contribute significantly to the legislative and political work of the Council, but the possibilities to shape the agenda are more limited than in 1998 and 2006. 

Prof. Heinz Fischer (copyright Simonis)


Heinz Fischer (born 9 October 1938 in Graz) took office as 11th President of Austria on 8 July 2004 and was re-elected for a second and final term on 25 April 2010, leaving office on 8 July 2016. Fischer previously served as Minister of Science from 1983 to 1987 and as President of the National Council of Austria from 1990 to 2002. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ), he suspended his party membership for the duration of his presidency. Apart from being a politician, Fischer also pursued an academic career, becoming a professor of Political Science at the University of Innsbruck in 1994 (source).

Europa Lecture

The Europa Institute at Leiden Law School is organising the Europa Lecture for the eighth time. This time, the lecture is organised in joint cooperation with the Austrian Embassy and the Foundation for Austrian Studies. The Europa Lecture is an occasion when leading European politicians give their vision on an issue. Previous speakers (in chronological order) were:


All seats are reserved.  

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