Minster for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz awards "Citizen-Service-Prize" to committed staff

Vienna, 3 July 2015 - The “Citizen-Service-Prize” was awarded by Minister Kurz at the annual Consular-Conference to committed staff for extraordinary achievements. Staff of the more than 100 embassies and consulates around the world take care of a great number of consular cases every day and are a reliable anchor point for Austrians in distress 24/7. The ministry’s employees often go to great lengths and perform above duty even in dire circumstances or personally endangering surroundings. The consular staff’s field of work ranges from assisting in individual emergencies over help in larger crises up to aid in the case of natural disasters. Every single one of these cases, next to high personal commitment, calls for an extraordinary level of empathy.

A jury in the Ministry selected the award winners, who deserve to be specially lauded due to their and their teams’ particular performances on the ground. This year’s first prize went to Isidor Nikolic at the Austrian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. Due to his relentless efforts in cooperation with the embassy’s attorney of trust, it was possible to prevent a young Austrian, who is imprisoned in Jarkarta, of being sentenced to death.

The second prize went to Roman Schlögl at the Austrian embassy in New Delhi, India, for the support and service to the victims of the Nepal earthquake and their relatives.

The third prize was awarded to the department of legal protection’s Michael Kratzer for his encompassing assistance and aid with a number of cases of imprisonment. In addition the teams of the Rome and Athens embassies were awarded for their professional and tireless efforts in aiding those affected by the fire on the “Norman Atlantic” ferry. Finally the entire citizen service team of the Ministry was awarded a prize, who every day handle countless consular cases in a swift and professional manner without red tape and thereby also distinguish themselves by the necessary sensitivity in delicate cases.