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    Military historian hands over historic publication to the IRE

    The military historian Markus Pichler presented the recently published book on the officers of the Austrian Revolution (1918-1920) to the IRE board and professor of Austrian history, Franz Schausberger. It is the first volume of a biographical series on the recent history of Austria and contains the biographies of the 122 lieutenants of the so-called “Volkswehr”.
    Christian Frech, Markus Pichler, Peter Steiner: The Officers of the Austrian Revolution. The republic and its “Volksarmee”-lieutenants. A military-historical-biographical study 100 years later. Vienna 2018. 330 pages.

    Markus Pichler with Franz Schausberger

    Europe: United in diversity and not separated inequality

    European Congress in Klosterneuburg;

    People are concerned with security, safety in everyday life as well as the fight against terrorism and the halting of illegal migration, said EPP’s leading candidate Manfred Weber at a major congress of the EPP on 10 December 2018 in Klosterneuburg, Austria. As far as EU enlargement is concerned, Weber stated that the accession talks of the European Union with Turkey will be terminated. Unlike Turkey, the Balkans belong to Europe, emphasized Weber, which was fully supported by Austria’s Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz: “Austria has traditionally had close ties to the Western Balkans. We need these states in the European Union, “says Kurz.

    “A Europe of subsidiarity” is the future for Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz: “I believe that the regions must play a strong role. United according to the motto and not separated inequality. We need more cooperation, where necessary, but at the same time preserving the diversity of Europe. “

    Manfred Weber strongly supported subsidiarity
    For the provincial governor of Lower Austria, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, there can only be a strong Europe if there are strong regions and vice versa. “Europe has to take care of the big challenges and big things. The Member States and the Regions are taking care of that little thing “.

    The upcoming European elections in May 2019 have a completely different topic than the EU election in 2014, said EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger. Europe must protect its citizens, remain strong economically and defend its values, no matter how the neighborhood of Europe develops.

    F.l.t.r: Viktor Sigl, Upper Austria President of the Parliament, Nikola Dubroslavic, Governor of Dubrovnik-Neretva (CRO), Franz Schausberger, former Governor, Janez Jansa, former Prime Minister of Slovenia, M.E.
    The event was also attended by Janez Jansa, leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party, and Ludovic Orban, president of the national-liberal PNL party in Romania, as well as many representatives from the Committee of the Regions and Austrian provinces, including IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger.

    The elections to the European Parliament will take place from 23 to 26 May 2019. The election is expected to be the first parliamentary election following Britain’s exit from the EU. If it comes after the European Parliament, the leading candidate of the party with the highest votes should become the President of the European Commission. However, there is currently no legal basis in the EU treaties.

    Source: APA

    Financing clean and sustainable transport: The role of cities and regions

    Joint workshop of EP’s TRAN committee and CoR-COTER commission on 4th of December 2018:
    Joszef Ribányi, Vice-President of County Council of Tolna Megye (Hungary) and Vice-Chair of the CoR’s COTER commission, co-chaired the annual joint workshop, devoted to “Financing clean and sustainable transport: The role of cities and regions”. This occasion marks the third year in which the two bodies meet to reflect upon the legislative work in the field of transport and mobility.

    RibanyiWhile maintaining mobility and transport infrastructures is already costly for regional authorities, the need to move towards, who is an EPP-politician, opened the meeting: “Transport is often a competence of local and regional authorities. They are in charge of designing and implementing mobility policies and providing efficient and sustainable transport solutions in their territory for their citizens and businesses. Transport infrastructure and mobility are thus key enablers of territorial and social cohesion.”zero-or  low-emission transport systems creates additional pressure. This transformation will be costly and a major part will be for the cities and regions to finance, for instance by renewing their public transport fleet or by deploying alternative fuels infrastructures.

    The members of the workshop discussed the question of financing this transformation. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) could provide financing or at least be a stimulus for initial funding of this transition. Also synergies with other sources of funding – be it public or private – must be further explored.

    Marian-Jean Marinescu, Romanian MEP, co-rapporteur on the Connecting Europe facility 2021–2027 said: “CEF should be used primarily to complete the TEN-T corridors by providing financing for cross-border connections and missing links. In addition, synergies between different EU funding instruments, such as Cohesion and Regional Development Fund as well as InvestEU, should be explored.”

    Joszef Ribányi, Vice-President of County Council of Tolna Megye with Johannes Hahn, EU-Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations
    Investment decisions need to be taken in revenue-generating areas as the quality of road infrastructure is on average declining. Road tolls and external cost charges collected in one region need, in principle, to be reinvested in the transport infrastructure of the region in close co-operation with the competent local and regional authorities.
    In this respect, Ivan Žagar, CoR rapporteur on „Europe on the Move: promoting seamless mobility solutions“, stated: “Road tolls which have been collected for a well-justified reason and which aim to internalise the external costs of transport must remain in the region and must be used to address the problem in the region.”
    Source: EPP Newsletter, 4th December 2018

    Socialists are losing heavily, right-wing populists are moving into the regional parliament for the first time

    Regional elections in Andalusia:
    The regional election in Andalusia on 2nd of December 2018 was considered a mood test for the socialist government led by Pedro Sánchez in Madrid. The Socialists who rule in Madrid are losing in this region where they were unbeatable. And for the first time in Spain, a right-wing populist party is entering a regional parliament.The Socialist Party (PSOE) remains the strongest party in the regional parliament of Andalusia with around 28 percent of the vote, but lost 14 seats (down 7 percentage points) compared to the last election and has now 33 seats. The conservative People’s Party Partido Popular (PP) has lost seven seats and has a total of 26 seats. The right-liberal Ciudadanos were able to more than double their seats and is with 21 seats the third strongest force, an increase of 12 seats compared to the election in 2015. The Podemos offshoot Adelante Andalucia came to 16.2 percent and a total of 17 seats, making it the fourth strongest Power in front of Vox.

    Vox is the surprise winner of Sunday’s election. For the first time, the Spanish right-wing populist party has made it to the regional parliament in Andalusia. The party won twelve of the 109 seats, giving the right-wing parties a majority.Andalusia is the most populated region in Spain with 8.4 million inhabitants. Since 1982, all Prime Ministers have been appointed by the PSOE. In just four decades, she was only once not the strongest party in the regional parliament.

    The Andalusian election marks the start of a series of votes in Spain, ranging from local and regional elections to the European elections in May. Early new elections were called after the Socialists lost support from Ciuadadanos. In purely mathematical terms, VOX, together with the conservatives and the center-right party of Ciudadano, has a majority in the regional parliament in Andalusia. Such a tripartite alliance, which has not been ruled out by any of the parties, would be a first in Spain.
    Source:,, Wikipedia

    100 billion euros for “Horizon Europe” from 2021

    Fighting the brain drain of highly skilled people from regions, cities and communities, as well as renewing the European agenda for research and innovation, were two topics dealt with at a meeting of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) on 27.11.2018 in Brussels .
    Although Europe is at the forefront of investment in research and development and scientific publications worldwide, the next wave of innovation will be based on science, technology and engineering knowledge, in which Europe currently has a competitive advantage. “Here, the EU, member states and actors in business, science and society must do everything they can to maintain this advantage”, said Salzburg State Parliament President Brigitta Pallauf.It is generally welcomed that the EU intends to increase investment in research and innovation by providing € 100 billion for the Horizon Europe program and other programs in the coming 2021-2027 funding period. “From a regional perspective, it is important that EU state aid rules be simplified in such a way as to create innovation-friendly framework conditions in the regions”, emphasized Pallauf.
    Brigitta Pallauf
    Source: Landeskorrespondenz Salzburg

    7th edition of the IRE Occasional Papers 2018 has been published

    Newest publication of the IRE:

    The new Occasional Papers, focusing on migration, cross-border regional cooperation, decentralization and regionalization, has been published.
    • Albania: The Land of Migrating ‘Eagles’ Migena Mersini
    • Kroatien, Bosnien-Herzegowina, Serbien: Jugendarbeitslosigkeit, Migration und Emigration Helene Niksić
    • Landtagswahlen in Österreich 2018: Relevanz der Migration und Integration im Wahlkampf diverser Regionen Maritje Weydemann
    • Decentralization and regionalization of Serbia from 2000 to 2015 and possible future solutions Nina Panić
    • Decentralisation Reform in Ukraine Victoriia Nasibullina
    • Der Einfluss von Föderalismus und Unitarismus auf Unabhängigkeitsbewegungen am Beispiel von Spanien und Schweiz Paul Schöppl
    • Die Euroregion ‘Pro Europa Viadrina’ – Ein deutsch-polnisches Erfolgskonzept? Laureen Krüger
    • Grenzregionale Kooperation der Europaregionen – Eine Analyse der regionalen Aspekte mit Fokus auf die Europäische Union ThomasEisenhut
    IRE Chairman Schausberger presents the new edition


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    Pannonian Institute hands over interesting series to the IRE

    On Friday, 23rd of November 2018, a delegation from Burgenland visited the IRE: District Commissioner from Jennersdorf, Hermann Prem, Prof. Robert Hajszan and his wife. The successful work of the Pannonian Institute (PAIN) based in Güttenbach (Burgenland) was discussed. For over 25 years, a yearbook in 5 languages – German – Slovenian – Hungarian – Burgenland Croatian and Croatian has been created. The Pannonian Institute deals with current topics in the field of transnational cultural exchange, language maintenance, political developments, know-how transfer and many others.
    Founder and Chairman of the Pannonian Institute, Dr. Ing. Hajszan presented IRE Chairman and former governor Univ. Prof. Dr. Franz Schausberger, the total expenditure of all 25 yearbooks from 1994 to 2018. For the future possibilities of a joint cooperation between the Pannonian Institute and the Institute of the Regions of Europe (IRE) were discussed. The countries Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary are also priority countries for the IRE and many regional and local partners as well as science partners are part of the current network.
    From left: IRE-Secretary General Dr. Joachim Fritz, District Commissioner Dr. Hermann Prem, IRE-Chairman and former governour Univ. Prof. Franz Schausberger, Dr. Robert Hajszan

    “Concrete proposals for anchoring the subsidiarity principle”

    Franz Schausberger:
    It is important that the Austrian Presidency has made the issue of “Subsidiarity in the EU” a priority because it makes this issue, which is hard to understand anyway, the focus of public interest and is accompanied by several events. These included the IRE Forum on 30th of September 2018 in Salzburg, said IRE Chairman Franz Schausberger at the Conference of the Austrian Presidency “Subsidiarity as a construction principle of the European Union” in the Festspielhaus Bregenz, 15th until 16th of November 2018.The principle of subsidiarity must be put in the limelight over and over because it is not really taken seriously at the EU level.
    Whenever the EU is in a ‘bad’ mood, especially shortly before the European elections, the subsidiarity principle is discovered.

    Since the signing of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009, centralization in Europe has increased. Nationalism has increased and nationalists are always centralists. They want to centralize power at the highest level and not give it down. So it’s a question of pure power and not the question of which level can do the best or whether something should be regulated at all. The hopes of the regions for the Treaty of Lisbon have in no way been fulfilled.

    From left to right: Franz Schausberger, IRE Chairman, Viviane Reding, former EU Commissioner, Ulrike Rabmer-Koller, Vice-President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Alfred Riedl, President of the Austrian Association of Municipalities, Reinhold Lopatka, Chairman of the European Committee of the Austrian Parliament and Member of the Task Force “Subsidiarity”.
    The Austrian Presidency has chosen the future scenario “Less, but more efficient” on the principle of subsidiarity and proportionality.
    Is it possible to redistribute the responsibilities of the EU and the Member States? Due to the political situation in the EU, this is not possible at present and in the foreseeable future!Therefore a way without contract modification has to be gone. The minimum requirement must hence be: The new Commission must at least include the implementation of the result of the Subsidiarity Task Force in its work program. It needs a clear statement what happens to the results.
    On the other hand, it is also necessary to specify in which areas the competence of the EU must be strengthened and unanimity should be abolished in these areas. (Migration, External Borders, Security, Defence, Fighting International Crime, Terrorism, Climate Change, Digitalisation, Common Market, etc.).

    What annoys the people and the small and medium-sized enterprises? Even more and more detailed regulations.
    The guidelines can really only be frameworks and not always become more detailed and close-knit.
     No creeping takeover of unclear responsibilities.
     No “delegated acts” without Member State participation.
     Rapid implementation of the results of the Task Force on Subsidiarity and Proportionality, with the active participation of the European Parliament.
    Greater engagement of national and regional parliaments in the subsidiarity review. Subsidiarity must not only apply between the EU and member states, but must also apply within the member states.

    From left to right: Franz Schausberger, IRE Chairman, Markus Wallner, Governor of Vorarlberg, Christian Buchmann, Chairman of the European Committee of the Austrian Federal Council.

    Confident European with a deep regional anchorage

    Franz Schausberger congratulates Manfred Weber on the election of the
    EPP lead candidate for the 2019 European elections:
    It is gratifying that with Manfred Weber a convinced European, deeply rooted in his regional level, the Free State of Bavaria, was voted the EPP’s lead candidate for the 2019 European elections, said IRE Chariman Franz Schausberger, who is also EPP vice-president in the European Committee of the Regions. Schausberger congratulated Weber on the clear approval of around 80 percent of the delegates.
    Schausberger emphasized that Weber, because of his successful work as Chairman of the EPP Group, knew not only the European level but also, as a former member of the district council of Kelheim and the Bavarian state parliament, the importance of the regional level. In the future, it would be particularly important for the European Union to involve the regions, cities and municipalities more closely in European politics.
    Manfred Weber in Salzburg
    Schausberger referred to Manfred Weber’s speech on 3rd of May 2018 about the regions and subsidiarity. Weber among other things had explained:
    • “Europe is not built only on strong nations. Europe is also rooted in every region.”
    • “When we talk about Europe, we talk a lot about identity. Much of this European identity is being shaped in the regions.”
    • “Europe is deeply rooted in its regions. Without its regions, Europe would be homeless. It is about feelings, about community, about participation and responsibility – all this we can learn in our regions. Without these communities, without its regions, Europe would break.”
    • “The relationship between Europe and its regions is also a mutual love story. Europe is becoming down to earth through the regions. And the regions can only take off through Europe.”
    • “Europe means bringing the peripheral regions to the center. Countless potential in the regions would be wasted if it were not for the unifying band of Europe. Europe is creating a network of regions that brings together the regions. Only through Europe can the regions develop together.”
    • “For me, subsidiarity also means that each level takes responsibility for the decisions it has made. Let us live subsidiarity in Europe – at all levels! “
    • “Let the regions be the hearts of our European democracy. Being close to people means being close to the regions.”
    • “I am a proud Bavarian. Germany is my fatherland. And I am a convinced European. These three elements are inseparable. Europe has only a future when it comes to its roots. Let us therefore preserve the regions in the heart of Europe! “ 

     Source: Phoenix

    IRE-Advisory Board member Prof. Jovičić is new Ambassador for Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations, OSCE and IAEA in Vienna

    Prof. Jugoslav Jovičić visited the Institute of European Regions (IRE) in Salzburg on Wednesday, 31st of October 2018. He has been the new Ambassador for Bosnia and Herzegovina since 4th of October 2018 to the Permanent Mission to the United Nations, the OSCE and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.
    Prof. Jovičić has been a member of the IRE Advisory Board for many years and numerous joint projects, co-operations and new initiatives have been successfully implemented. The cooperation between Ambassador Jugoslav Jovičić and the IRE will continue in the future.

    For December 2018 a conference is planned together with the Croatian Institute for Migration in Zagreb. In 2019, initiatives will be implemented in the area of EU integration of the Western Balkan countries, the strengthening of rural areas and the development of smart communities.

    Franz Schausberger with Jugoslav Jovičić
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