Dr. Erhard Busek passed away

14.03.2022. / news / Other news

The Chairman of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM), former Vice-Chancellor of Austria, and an honorary professor of the University of Rijeka, Dr. Erhard Busek, passed away unexpectedly during the night of 13-14 March 2022, the Institute announced on Monday morning.

Busek was born in Vienna on March 25, 1941, the son of an engineer and master builder. He got his Catholic character from his family and kept it to the end. During his law studies, he was active in the Catholic youth. He began his political career in 1964 in the ÖVP club. In 1989, Busek became the Austrian Minister of Science. As such, he was responsible for the University Organization Act (UOG) of 1993, which gave the universities more autonomy. After the National Council elections on October 9, 1994, Busek remained Vice-Chancellor in the coalition government, but as Minister of Education, he switched to the education department.

Mr. Busek was President of the European Forum Alpbach from 2000 to 2012 and later on its Honorary President. During his time as EFA president, he played a decisive part in modernizing, internationalizing, and rejuvenating the Forum. As stated by EFA President Andreas Treichl, ”Europe was his world and nobody else understood Central Europe like he did. He felt it like no other, he lived in it and he lived for it. Without Erhard Busek, the European Forum Alpbach would not be what it is today.”

During his rich and dynamic career, he held numerous positions at different institutions. From 2004 to 2011 he was rector of the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences and from 2008 to 2018 he was chairman of the university council of the Medical University of Vienna. From 2005 to 2017 he was President of the Vienna Economic Forum, of which he was Honorary President until his death.

Busek has received numerous honorary doctorates from universities in Germany and abroad. In 2021, Erhard Busek was awarded the title of Honoris professor (honorary professor) of the University of Rijeka, for his outstanding contribution to the University of Rijeka measured by extremely active cooperation and its constant international promotion. Dr. Busek was also an esteemed member of the Moise Palace Council of Patrons, and in that capacity, he gave his valuable contribution to the development of international partnerships aimed at increasing the quality of research at the UNIRI Center for Advanced Studies of South East Europe.

As a lawyer and politician, he was involved in numerous publications as an author and editor. Up to the end, Busek repeatedly commented on developments in domestic and European politics in interviews and comments.

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