Europa Forum Wachau: Shaping the Future of Europe

More+Events ♦ Published: June 24, 2022; 11:17 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria is once again at the centre of European politics. At the 26th edition of the European Forum Wachau, many prominent guests from business, diplomacy and politics gathered in Lower Austria to discuss the future of the EU and its current challenges. The motto of this year's event is "Safeguarding Europe's future".

The Europaforum Wachau will again be held partly at Stift Göttweig this year. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Karl Gruber [CC BY-SA 4.0]

The annual Europa-Forum Wachau was held in Lower Austria for the 26th time this year. For a brief moment, the Wachau was at the centre of European politics and can also boast high-ranking guests this year. Traditionally, the Europe Forum takes place at Göttweig Abbey and at the University Campus Krems.

The aim of the forum is to discuss current challenges and goals of European politics and to jointly search for possible solutions. It is not only about the big issues of world politics, but also about the impact on life in the Member States.

The motto of this year's European Forum is "Safeguarding Europe's future". Specifically, topics such as blackout, security of supply, alternative energies and energy transition as well as data protection in health will be discussed.

In addition to high-ranking international guests from politics, diplomacy and business, Austria's top politicians were also present and took part in the Forum. For example, Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner gave the opening speech at the Wachau European Forum and emphasised the importance of European cooperation in security issues.

"We must be there for those who need our help and take a clear stance against mafia trafficking gangs," said Interior Minister Gerhard Karner in his opening speech at the University Campus Krems. True to the theme of the event, Karner stressed the importance of cohesion and cooperation at the European level in order to master the current challenges.

Temporary protection

Karner sees the sustainable further development of the European Union as a great strength of the EU. As an example, the self-proclaimed "regular at this great event" cited the implementation of the Temporary Protection of Refugees Directive, which was first implemented by the EU-27 in the wake of the Ukraine war. "We sent a strong signal to the world that we are protecting people fleeing bombs," Karner praised the determination of his European counterparts.


At the same time, he warned that there were people "who exploit this solidarity for their dirty and inhuman business." "As the European Union, we need to tighten the borders and make sure we don't overburden the aid system," Karner said. He pleaded for a "counter-marketing strategy" to prevent economic refugees from making the dangerous journey to Europe in the first place.

In conclusion, the Minister of the Interior wished that the "spirit" of "Safeguarding Europe's Future" would also give the European Union the strength "that allows us all to be powerful".

History of the Wachau European Forum

The Europa-Forum Wachau was founded in 1995 on the occasion of Austria's accession to the EU. Since then, the aim has been to promote the topic of Europe and to communicate it passionately to the citizens.

Since 1995, in addition to a President of the European Parliament and a President of the Republic, 29 Prime Ministers and 39 Foreign and European Ministers, 5 Commissioners and over 12,000 guests have already attended the Europa-Forum Wachau.

The event has been extended from 2 to 3 days in 2019. The Europa Forum Wachau was to become an international summit for the future of Europe. For this purpose, citizens were also more directly involved in the political discourse and thus the event was to be more interactive and more in tune with the times.

In future, citizens should help shape a common Europe together and for each other. The new salons, the stronger involvement of young people, digitalisation and the pursuit of so-called megatrends should contribute to this.

European Forum Wachau