EU Ambassador in Vienna Selmayr Transitions to Academia

PeopleOther ♦ Published: January 31, 2024; 13:14 ♦ (Vindobona)

After serving as the Ambassador of the European Commission in Austria since November 2019, Martin Selmayr is embarking on a new journey in academia.

Martin Selmayr will be a visiting professor at the University of Vienna from February 1. As an EU ambassador in Austria, he has spent four years up and down the country talking about Europe. / Picture: © Vertretung der EU Kommission in Österreich

Starting on February 1st, he will assume the role of a guest professor of European Law at the Institute for Innovation and Digitalization in Law at the University of Vienna. This transition marks the end of his four-year tenure as the head of the European Commission's representation in Austria.

During his time as EU Ambassador, Selmayr faced numerous challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the onset of Russia's aggression against Ukraine, and the subsequent energy price crisis. He also had the opportunity to collaborate with four different Austrian Chancellors.

In his role, Selmayr tirelessly advocated for European unity and cooperation, emphasizing that all EU member states, including Austria, are relatively small on a global scale. He stressed the importance of working together to address pressing global challenges such as climate change, migration, and the preservation of peace and security in Europe.

One of the key highlights of his tenure was his unwavering support for Ukraine following Russia's unlawful attack in February 2022. Selmayr passionately asserted that Ukraine is part of the European family and called for solidarity with the country in its fight for European values and international law-based peace, freedom, and security.

Selmayr also commended Austria for its advanced digitalization, robust research landscape, and innovative initiatives like the Klimaticket (climate ticket). He encouraged Austrians to have confidence in their nation's capabilities and highlighted the importance of effective communication regarding the EU's roles and responsibilities.

Moreover, during the COVID-19 pandemic, he clarified the EU's position on various matters, including vaccine procurement, and debunked misinformation. He emphasized that the EU does not possess the authority to ban activities like skiing in Austria, and he underscored the importance of addressing false claims and disinformation. Selmayr expressed concern about Europe's continued dependence on Russian gas and urged for a rapid transition away from Russian gas to reduce reliance on autocratic regimes and undermine their ability to finance aggressive actions. As reported by, he was criticized at the time for his "blood money" statement.

In his new role as a guest professor at the University of Vienna, Selmayr aims to contribute his extensive experience from EU practice to the field of European law. He expressed enthusiasm for collaborating with the university's outstanding scholars and researchers to explore the latest developments in European law, with a particular focus on EU digitalization law and EU sustainability law. As he embarks on this new chapter, he leaves behind a legacy of dedicated service and advocacy for a united and resilient Europe.

European Commission Representation in Austria

University of Vienna