How do Austrians feel about Europe? Which spontaneous associations do they have with regard to the EU, what do they wish for?
On the occasion of our 20th anniversary celebration, ÖGfE conducted a non-representative street survey. Find out about the EU mood in the streets of Vienna!

ÖGfE Activities - An Overview

With the overarching objective to enhance knowledge regarding EU integration among citizens in Austria we act as close to the people as possible. Thus, we promote an open dialogue on EU issues and make sure EU related topics are on the agenda - both in Austrian politics as well as in a wider public discourse.

Our activities are manifold. We organise opinion polls to scan the mood among Austrians, their ideas and critique regarding the European Union and Austrian EU-membership. We analyse topical questions of the ongoing process of European integration and organise a wide range of public panel discussions. And we combine our different approaches of EU public communication to large scale projects which encompass several or all of these measures.

Have a closer look on a few examples of our activities.


Analyses

Opinion Polls

Since the mid 1990-ies ÖGfE has been conducting/commissioning about 200 surveys on European matters on a regional, nationwide and CEE-level and has been co-operating with reputable polling institutes in Austria and abroad. The main results of our surveys are published by media on a regular basis, on our website and disseminated via our mailing lists. In recent years we focused mainly on the following subjects: the financial crisis, the future of European Integration, trust in the Euro and European institutions, the enlargement process and Austrians attitude toward our neighbouring countries.

Austrian MEP vote watch

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As a service to stakeholders and all those interested we follow the plenary sessions of the European Parliament to observe how Austrian Members have cast their votes regarding selected resolutions. We provide an overview and a short analysis to the media and our mailing list.

Against this background we also strive to enhance the general knowledge about the European Parliament and work together with our MEPs within the framework of other activities. As confirmed by our opinion polls many Austrians cannot name one of their representatives in the European Parliament. Considering the unique position of the Parliament as the only directly elected EU institution and the impact EU legislation has on the daily life of every citizen, we consider it important to improve the turn out at European elections in Austria, which has been rather low in the past.


Events

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The "Europa Club Wien" (Club Europe Vienna) is a series of public debates organised by the ÖGfE and co-financed by our partners: Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Bank Austria UniCredit Group, European Parliament Information Office in Austria, Federation of Austrian Industries Vienna, Raiffeisen Bank International, Representation of the European Commission in Austria, UNIQA and Vienna Chamber of Labour.

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The events take place on a monthly basis in Vienna and are open to the interested public. High-level experts discuss a wide range of relevant European issues with the audience. In addition to the Viennese events, Club Europe is visiting universities all across Austria. The so called "Europa Club Uni" aims at encouraging students to extend their knowledge - and curiosity - regarding EU integration and gives them the opportunity to discuss EU-related topics with outstanding experts.

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Among the highlights of the series were discussions with several members of the Austrian and other European Governments, Members of the European Parliament and internationally esteemed experts with different backgrounds.

Most of the lectures are held in German, but some take place in English as well.

Please check our website for upcoming events or sign up for our newsletter!

For further information please contact us via europaclub@oegfe.at

EU and YOU - A Success Story With A Future

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In cooperation with our project partners, the Representation of the European Commission in Austria and the Austrian Foreign Ministry, we keep touring through the whole country to visit schools and discuss European issues and Austria's EU-membership with the pupils.

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An exhibition for schools touring the country

Originally developed by the Foreign Ministry, a touring exhibition for young people about the past, present and future of European Integration serves as background for our discussions and provides a substantial contribution to school lessons before and after the event. Furthermore, we emphasise benefits and chances for young people, for instance in education and with regard to EU citizenship.

In its revised and newly designed version, the exhibition is placed on display in more than forty Austrian schools per year and we managed to personally engage over 5,000 pupils of all school types in EU related discussions.

Special events

The project also serves as framework for several series of special events: we have been happy to accompany Austrian Members of the European Parliament to visit schools on many occasions. Similarily, we also invited all members of the Austrian government to return to their own former schools.

With both types of discussion events we provide pupils with a chance to pose their questions directly to decision makers. Thus, they not only receive first-hand information about the activities of our political representatives but also their personal impressions of how European politics actually work. For pictures and German reports on these encounters please click here.

Project Website

You can view the exhibition and the stops of our tour on a separate homepage dedicated to this project which also holds a wealth of information about it in German.

Erasmus Back To School

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Each year about 5.000 Austrian students go abroad for studies and company placements supported by the EU Erasmus programme.

The "Erasmus back to School" initiative invites them to revisit their former secondary schools and to share their Erasmus experiences with the pupils. The idea is to "give Erasmus a face", to inform school students about the Erasmus programme, to support them with practical advice concerning organisational issues and to engage them in discussions on European Union mobility issues. Former Erasmus participants answer their questions on how it really works and how school students can take part themselves in the near future. Thus they learn about the opportunities and challenges of living and studying across borders.

The initiative was launched in 2010 in cooperation with the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research and the Information Service of the Austrian Federal Chancellery.


Projects

Reality Check Neighbourhood - Public opinion in the border regions

(Gelebte Nachbarschaft in der Grenzregion)

More than 20 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain that separated Austria and its Eastern neighbouring countries fears and prejudices still persist. By the means of empirical social research ÖGfE intends to take a look how people in the border regions of Austria, neighbouring Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary assess the extent of cross-border cooperation and contacts and how they see their (common?) future in the framework of European integration.

With this project ÖGfE aims at contributing to reduce prejudices and misunderstandings and foster cross-border cooperation. We want to provide opinion leaders on regional and national level with detailed information in order to develop communication strategies and help further cross-border understanding. Since the year 2000 already four surveys in the border regions have been conducted (2000-2001/2004/2005/2011), some of them supported by the European Commission, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria and respective Austrian Länder.


Articles

Comments/Articles/Analyses

ÖGfE regularly comments on current European topics via articles and interviews to foster debate among opinion leaders and the general public. Our topical analyses strive to provide brief but precise up to date background information on various European issues.