The autumn of the year 1989 was not only a turning point for the countries of Eastern Europe. Also in Austria this was the start of a change process that hasn’t stopped until today. Once having been a large Empire and European power, then having taken part in the crimes and suffered the tragedies of the first half of the twentieth century, finally ending up at the eastern periphery of the so-called Western world, Austria suddenly became a new heart of the unified continent after the fall of the Iron Curtain. And the Austrians became aware that Vienna lies further east than Prague.
Since the European Union enlargement to the East, Austria has been a hub for East, West and all other directions. The Vienna phone book, full of Slavic names, is not only a testimony to its history, but also a document of the present: day by day, it becomes more international. Austria very successfully plays its role on centre stage. Despite being relatively small with a population of 8.4 Mio, it is a prosperous country, in terms of GDP. Austria is the 12th richest country in the world and has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the EU.
Ideas on how to foster a socially stable society, in which everybody should be able to provide for him or herself, arose early. It was in Austria where the first bank for common people in Central Europe opened its doors in 1819: the Erste Oesterreichische Spar-Casse in Vienna. Vienna, Austria’s capital, is home to the headquarters of Erste Group and ERSTE Foundation as well as their microfinance and social entrepreneurship initiative ‘good.bee’.
The best-known project of ERSTE Foundation in Austria to date is ‘Die Zweite Sparkasse’ (the Second Savings Bank). This ‘bank for [...]more
For many countries in Central and South Eastern Europe, the fall of communism was the most dramatic change in several [...]more
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operate in a dynamic environment. Changes in society and in the political and financing landscape require everyone [...]more
“Omnes, omnia, omnino.” (Teach everything in-depth to everyone.) This quote of Johann Amos Comenius is the motto of KomenskýFond, established [...]more
What impact did the savings bank idea have in Central and Eastern Europe after its implementation in Vienna in 1819? [...]more
Do you think that education contributes to the process of European integration? Would you like to participate in shaping the [...]more
People on low incomes have a hard time getting financial services from the banks. This is true the world over. [...]more
“As a legacy of Socialism, artists are still accustomed to producing works of art independently, totally separate from society, with [...]more
This Artist-in-Residence programme at quartier21/ MuseumsQuartier in Vienna is part of ERSTE Foundation and tranzit’s endeavour to support contemporary art, [...]more
How are Balkans seen with the eyes of an Austrian journalist, working from a fellow’s office from this region? How [...]more
In the series “Debating Europe”, which follows the successful matinee series “Talking about Europe” in Burgtheater, politicians, intellectuals and scientists [...]more
In October 2013 we have established the endowed professorship at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. It addresses scientists with outstanding [...]more
Every summer, more than 300 students from more than 50 countries worldwide work in approximately 20 classes on art projects [...]more
Speech series at Vienna’s Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz. More then twenty years have passed since the autumn of 1989, when Austria ceased [...]more
If you are a journalist working in print, broadcast or electronic media and want to take time off from your [...]more
This fellowship programme of the Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna provides translations of significant works in the field of [...]more
Superar allows young people to experience the importance and beauty of making music and dancing together. Within a friendly and [...]more