Washington, DC: LECTURE | STEVEN BELLER: 2015, 1995, 1955, 1945, 1815 - AN EMBARASSMENT OR ANNIVERSARIES?PERSPECTIVES ON AUSTRIA's ROLE AND IDENTITY IN EUROPE NOW AND THEN

  • Austrian Cultural Forum 3524 International Court Northwest Washington, DC, 20008 United States

Austria's role and identity in Europe tends to be seen differently depending on the anniversary. A crucial anniversary for modern Austrian identity is the bicentenary of the establishment of the post-Napoleonic European state-system in 1815. 

The supranational/multinational system that after 1815 was embodied and led by "Austria" eventually ceded hegemony to a national/imperial, somewhat more “democratic” system, but in many respects this had tragic consequences, and the EU, a democratic version of the supranational/multinational system, has been a very positive remedy.

Modern-day Austria would be best off going back to a democratic version of Metternichian consensus foreign policy that replaced formal neutrality with a co-operative, multilateral foreign policy, from within the EU’s parameters.