Hannes Richter

Dear Readers,

Hannes Richter

Keeping citizens safe is one of the foremost priorities of governments. Over the last decade, we have witnessed the emergence of an increasing number of threats posed by terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and the growing number of cyber attacks. Austria is taking these challenges very seriously and we are actively engaged in counteracting them at all levels in close cooperation with our European partners and the United States.

One case in point is the new Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non- Proliferation (VCDNP), which will be featured in this issue of Austrian Information. The center was inaugurated in February and will be managed by the world-renowned James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies. The recent visit of former Austrian Minister of the Interior, Maria Fekter, to Washington, D.C. and New York has highlighted Austria’s close cooperation with the U.S. on counter-terrorism issues. Of course, our citizens’ safety goes far beyond the fight against terrorism. It also encompasses many other areas, such as energy & food security.

In this issue of Austrian Information, we will share with you some of the best practices on sustainable agriculture and renewable energy currently in use in Austria, which will illustrate the country’s role as the “Green Heart of Europe” and one of the world leaders in these fields. You will also be invited to join us on an adventurous journey to beautiful Styria, where Markus Reiterer will lead you along the footsteps of Peter the poacher.

In addition, you will read about what the world’s most wanted film and the Tyrolean Alps have in common. As a very special treat, it is our pleasure to present you with a humorous anecdote by Ambassador Christian Prosl in this issue. Our Austrian Information team loves it, and we are certain that you will too! Apart from our contributions on security, non-proliferation, and renewable energy, this issue will also feature an article on American Football in Austria. While many observers mainly associate Austria with skiing, American Football is becoming increasingly popular. As a result, the American Football World Championship will be held in Austria in the summer of 2011.

Austrian Information has taken a closer look at the phenomenon of American Football in our country and the significance of the upcoming championship for the future of American Football in Austria. In the hope that you will enjoy this issue of Austrian Information, I remain,

yours sincerely,

Alice Irvin
Director, Press & Information Service