Waldner: "Austrian expatriates are ambassadors and advertisers for Austria around the world"
SIEMENS CEO Peter Löscher elected Austrian Expatriate of the Year
"One could really not have chosen a better one. Peter Löscher began his career in Villach, Austria, which took him through Spain, the US, Japan, Great Britain and Germany to the helm of a global group. Throughout this time, however, he has remained attached and loyal to Austria“, said State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner in congratulating the SIEMENS CEO to his election as Austrian Expatriate of the Year.
In his speech at the conference of the Auslandsösterreicher-Weltbund (world association of Austrian expatriates) in Vienna, the State Secretary praised the important role played by the some 500,000 Austrian expatriates living worldwide. "The personality, the engagement, and the achievements of our fellow citizens abroad significantly shapes the global image of Austria", said Waldner.
"Despite the pressure to cut costs in recent years, the Foreign Ministry has managed to achieve great progress particularly in the area of crisis management and consular protection" emphasized the State Secretary, and reminded of the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan as well as of the sweeping changes taking place in the Arab World. "Not a single Austrian has come to grief in these events. Our crisis management functioned so well that other countries asked Austria for help."
Waldner cited the partnership relationships with Austria’s neighbours and the strengthening of the European integration process as examples of the challenges facing Austrian foreign policy. As a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the period 2011-2014, Austria would continue its commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights. "Our aim is also to further establish Vienna as the home of international organisations and as a centre for dialogue", said Waldner, who referred to the founding of the International Anti Corruption Academy (IACA) and the scheduled opening of the King Abdullah Interfaith Dialogue Center.
State Secretary Waldner signalled his understanding for the wishes and concerns of the Weltbund. "Even in the case of legally complex topics such as e-voting, the representation of expatriates in the parliament, and dual citizenship, the Foreign Ministry shall continue to support Austrian expatriates as a partner", Waldner concluded.
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Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
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