Austria is the largest donor in the field of higher education in Kosovo, says Ambassador Christoph Weidinger

27 November 2019

With an historical account of the course of the creation of the Austrian state, from the time of the Austrian Empire to the end of World War II, the Austrian Ambassador to Kosovo, HE. Christoph Weidinger, began his special lecture for students of the Faculty of Public Administration at AAB College.

“Austria was a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious empire, and these characteristics made it special. But in 1918, after World War I, Austria was no longer an empire of 55 million people. Austria was reduced to the state we know today and had only 6 million inhabitants.” said the Austrian ambassador.

The ambassador said that Austria had difficult economic and political years from the 1930s until 10 years after World War II, where they were first annexed by Germany and then occupied by the allied forces of the Soviet Union’s, United States of America, France and Britain. After 10 years under occupation, Austria agreed to become a neutral state and gained its independence in 1955.

“Another milestone of our state is our membership in the European Union. This membership took a long time; ever since the European Union started as a peace project until 1995 when we ended the talks and officially became part of that union” explained Ambassador Weidinger.

The Austrian ambassador emphasized that Austria is a place of peace, despite having a past with many wars: “Austrians, as a people, lean towards consensus rather than confrontation, so we are one of the countries with the least number of protests, a state where peace prevails in society.”

Speaking about Austria’s foreign policy towards Kosovo, Ambassador Weidinger said Austria is one of the most active foreign countries in Kosovo and also a true friend of hers. “Austria is the fourth largest foreign investor in Kosovo and also employs many people from here in our firms because there are many talented young people from here, especially in the IT field. Austria is the largest donor in the field of higher education and high priority is also given to vocational training and business partnerships. We help small businesses in different fields and especially in the field of agriculture. It is worth noting that Austria also contributes to Kosovo’s security by being part of KFOR. So all this makes Austria a very active country, working for the well-being of Kosovo as a state.”

The ambassador continued the discussion with AAB College students, noting that this lecture was a special pleasure for him and that the modern AAB College spaces have impressed him because they are more modern than the colleges where he himself studied.