Austrians finally reject Norbert Hofer for presidency

Norbert Hofer, the ‘far Right’ Freedom Party candidate – who participated in a passionate and somewhat controversial Europaeum panel debate on Can Europe’s Politicians can solve Europe’s migration crisis ?, has lost his bid for the Austrian presidency. The recent election was won by Independent candidate Alexander Van der Bellen, the former leader of the Green Party who has promised to be an ‘open-minded, liberal-minded and above all a pro-European federal president’. Mr van der Bellen won 53% of the re-run election votes.

The Europaeum debate mentioned before, was mounted in the spirit of academic freedom that marks the Europaeum’s approach. There was a strong student protest, but expressed in an agreed statement read out at the meeting and a silent protest of posters, with a noisy protest of many hundreds outside the hall. The event was widely covered and may have helped alert Austrians as to how Mr Hofer’s election might have been seen internationally. Mr Hofer for his part has called on all Austrians ‘regardless of how we cast our ballots’ now to work together for the good of the country.

Europaeum Lecture: What next – after Brexit and Trump ? (February 23rd)

The next special Europaeum Lecture in our regular series will be given by Will Hutton, a noted economic commentator, currently Principal of Hertford College, Oxford University, and Chair of the Oxford Europaeum Group. Mr Hutton, who has a regular influential column  in The Observer newspaper (where he was once Editor), will be discussing After Brexit and TrumpGloabalisaton, Trade and the New Global Order ? In recent columns, Mr Hutton has written on the consequences for international trade that loom after the Brexit and Trump votes in the UK and US, recently he has written about the Renzi referendum vote in Italy, and the costs and benefits of globalisation. After beginning his career as a stockbroker and investment analyst, he moved to the BBC as a producer and reporter. He has been Economics Editor of the BBC’s flagship Newsnight programme (1983-88), Editor-in-Chief of the European Business Channel (1988-90), and Economics Editor at the Guardian (1990-96), winning several media awards. He is currently Chair of the Big Innovation Centre Innovation Board. He is the author of a number of best-selling books, including The State We’re In (Cape, 1995), The Stakeholding Society (Polity Press, 1998), The World We’re In (Little, Brown, 2002), and The Writing on the Wall (Little, Brown, 2007). He will speaking at 18:00 in the main Auditorium at the Maison de la paix, of the The Graduate Institute, Geneva. Please see the poster here.