The European Forum Alpbach (formerly the Austrian College) is a non-profit organization independent of any ideology, religion or political party. It originated from the “International College Weeks”, which took place for the first time in 1945 in Alpbach, Austria. Sometime after, both the event and the institution changed their names into “European Forum Alpbach”. The main reason for organizing this event was the need for an open dialogue between intellectual elites in the post-war Europe as the precondition of long-term stability and peace. 66 years later, these are still principles and values of European Forum Alpbach.
The European Forum Alpbach was founded in 1945 under the name “International College Weeks” by Viennese student Otto Molden and junior professor of philosophy at the University of Innsbruck Simon Moser. After the calamity of the Second World War was over, it came as stroke of good fortune that the first International College Weeks in the Tyrolian village of Alpbach was met with a warm reception because of its it’s healing effects on post-war relations in Europe. Since this first meeting, the Austrian International College Weeks have taken place every year, and since 1949 these meetings became known as “European Forum Alpbach”.
The participants in the first year were mostly young people who had been actively engaged in the resistance against Nazism . Otto Molden envisaged a complete reconstruction of intellectual life in Europe. He came together with a circle of like-minded people to discuss a political unification of Europe which would prevent future war-like clashes between European nations. Simon Moser wanted to create new structures in the universities and to fight for interdisciplinary exchange.
A fruitful dialogue developed on the bases of these topics over the years included not only politics and the economy but also the cultural sphere and social development. This way European Forum Alpbach left a valuable intellectual legacy. Interchange between respected scientists from theory and practice, interdisciplinary character and open discussion have significantly contributed to new solutions developments for global, regional and economic problems. The intellectual atmosphere of the event, which is far removed from the restrictions of university and political life, contributes to the open nature of the discussions in Alpbach and allows partners from opposite sides to be brought together.
Some of the most important figures of today’s world have participated in Alpbach Forum over the course of history: Ban Ki-Moon, Friedrich von Hayek, Hans Kelsen, Helmut Kohl, Indira Gandhi, Karl Popper, Romano Prodi, Vaclav Klaus, Jacques Delors and many other heads of states, prime ministers, Nobel prize winners, scientists.
The charitable foundation of the European Forum Alpbach was established on 15 November 2005 with the aim to support the objectives of European Forum Alpbach. The foundation administers and funds scholarships for the European Forum Alpbach with the aid of donations. The foundation is based in Vienna.
President of the European Forum Alpbach, the institution and foundation is Dr Erhard Busek, Austrian politician and diplomat. At present he is also Coordinator of the South-Eastern Cooperative Initiative (SECI) and Chairman of the Institute for Danube Region and Central Europe.
For further information on European Forum Alpbach, please visit organization’s official website: