Vienna, 25 September 2009 Press release

Austria - Kosovo: Strengthening cultural relations

Reopening of the Austria Window at the University of Pristina

Vienna, 25 September 2009 - This afternoon, the Austrian Library in Pristina, established in 2000, will be reopened following extensive adaptation work. With the support of the Federal Ministry for Science and Research - Department of Strategy and Coordination for the international field with particular focus on the interface between science, research, and education - and in cooperation with the Austrian Development Agency, the Austrian Library, housed in the Philological Faculty of the University of Pristina, has received the proper facilities and equipment to meet the contemporary requirements of a modern library and information centre.

The Austrian Library in Pristina is a visible sign of developing cultural and scientific relations, which meets the expectations and requirements of students and teachers and supports the academic environment - teaching and research - and the communication extending beyond that.  At the same time, however, it allows access to information about Austria to a wider public in a professional manner. The library currently includes some 3,900 media units.

"Austria endeavours to offer a European perspective to the new state of Kosovo and to the other states of the Western Balkans", stresses Ambassador Emil Brix, Head of the Cultural Policy Section of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, adding that "next to the political, economic, social, and legal aspects, this complex process also includes education, culture, and science, and the cooperation between universities and schools. Moreover, the conclusion of a cultural convention between Kosovo and Austria was envisaged as a means of creating more opportunities for cultural and scientific exchange. In this respect, the Austrian Libraries constitute an excellent platform, which facilitates joint research, learning, and scientific work between students and experts, especially from countries of the Western Balkans."

The library will be opened by Kosovo's Education Minister Enver Hoxhaj, the Rector of the University Muje Rugova, and Ambassador Emil Brix. Barbara Frischmuth will be delivering a reading at the University of Pristina as part of the opening ceremony.

Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Andreas Pawlitschek
Cultural Public Relations Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3564
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-3564