A Vote of Thanks
Statements of the President, the Vice Presidents and other members of the Board of Trustees
Wolgang Petritsch, President of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation:
The Marshall Plan, by which the USA supported European reconstruction after the Second World War, is the largest ever economic aid program. In the framework of the Marshall Plan – or officially the ‘European Recovery Program’ – every American citizen contributed an average of 80 dollar towards European recovery, at that time about two weeks’ pay for a skilled worker. The Austrian Federal Republic and its population profited especially from the Plan – we have received more in the way of financial and other economic allowances per inhabitant than the majority of other nations. Industrial recovery, the rail network, hydro power plants, roads and bridges, agriculture and the housing program have all been financed to a large part through these means. The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, endowed by the ERP Fund, is a token of the Austrian Federal Republic’s gratitude to the United States of America.
Johann Fußenegger, Vice President of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation
The simple but ingenious idea behind the Marshall Plan was not only to provide help, but also to create a capital circuit. The USA put the Marshall Plan resources at the disposal of the Austrian government, which was expected in its turn to make a large part available as credit to the Austrian economy. Thus the economy was provided with a solution to a financing and monetary problem, and could obtain urgently needed capital goods from the USA. The credits were repaid in Austrian currency, thus creating a type of investment bank, the ERP Fund, to be transferred to the Austrian government in 1962. The original American capital of the Marshall Plan still has an effect today in the Austrian economy, supporting investment in many areas through the ERP Fund. The Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, established as a ‘thank you’ to the USA and equipped with financial resources, contributes towards increasing knowledge and mutual understanding across the Atlantic.
Anton Fink, Vice President of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation
The central aim of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation is to encourage transfer of knowledge between the USA and Austria in the area of economics and social sciences. In order to achieve this goal, the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation is developing economics and social science research projects with various American universities. In this way the Foundation makes a contribution to intensifying research co-operation between Austria and the United States. The program of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation, established according to the Federal legislation on foundations and funds, is under the leadership and responsibility of an American and an Austrian academic, each representing a defined general theme. The activity of the Foundation is then largely directed towards the relevant university and theme. The research support is carried out in the form of guest professors in the USA, conferences, lectures and symposia in Austria and the USA, post-graduate and research fellowships as well as awards for academic publications. This concept should guarantee a variety of themes and a high level of commitment by the academics involved.
Eva Nowotny, Board Member of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation
From the academic year 2003/04 the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation has bee cooperating with the Universities of Vienna and California, Berkeley. Our cooperation partner at the University of Berkeley is the Institute of European Studies, led by Professor John M. Efron. The general theme of all activities in the framework of this project is economic conflict potential and conflict management between the European Union and the United States. The chosen theme has roused considerable academic interest on both sides of the Atlantic. In order to achieve the financial flexibility necessary for the realisation of this and future projects, further resources should now be made accessible and put at the long-term disposal of the Foundation. In order to extend the financing basis, the Foundation is seeking financial support through contributions from enterprises, syndicates and local authorities – allocations which are, incidentally, tax-deductible of the Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation.