Vienna, 13 November 2012 Press release

State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka presents PaN Prize 2012

Austrian-Belgian Society receives PaN Prize 2012

Vienna, 13 November 2012 – "The Austrian-Belgian Society has been committed to fostering friendship and mutual understanding between Belgians and Austrians since 1992; with its activities it contributes an important share to the bilateral exchange between our two countries", State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said on the occasion of the presentation of the PaN Prize 2012 to the Austrian-Belgian Society.

The Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs awards the annual PaN Prize upon the initiative of the Federation of Austrian-Foreign Societies (Partner of all Nations – PaN). The award was presented for the first time in 2006 and honours outstanding achievements of individual friendship organisations.

"This year's award-winner is the Austrian-Belgian Society, which has deepened and consolidated the relations between Austria and Belgium over the past twenty years; for example with the international symposium “500 Years Mercator” that focused on cartography during the Hapsburg Empire in the sixteenth century”, the State Secretary explained.

The distinction was awarded in the presence of the Belgian Ambassador Frank Recker and members of the diplomatic corps in the Marble Hall of the Foreign Ministry.

The Austrian-Belgian Society was founded on 9 June 1992 in Vienna. As an active PaN member it promotes friendship between peoples without prejudice, furthers dialogue on an equal footing between nations, cultures and religious denominations and advocates a peaceful society. "The Society views itself also as a platform for all 2000 Belgian citizens resident in Austria and delivers important input to better mutual understanding", the State Secretary said during the official ceremony.

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