June 21, 2019

The 2018 Austria National Day And Centenary Celebrations















On the picture the Ambassador of Austria Heidemaria Gürer and the President of the Senate, the Honourable Ankie Broekers-Knol, we can also see H.E. Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, Apostolic Nuncio.

By Roy Lie Atjam.

On October 26th 2018 (Oct 26-Feiertag) Austria celebrates its 63rd year of independence. 2018 is also a year of celebrations and reflection as the country celebrates the Centenary of the proclamation of the second Republic of Austria.

The memorable day was celebrated in The Hague on Thursday 25 October 2018, H.E. Ambassador Heidemaria Gürer and spouse Mr. Nadir Gürer, opened wide the doors of the Austrian residence. Over a hundred guests attended the event, including the president of the Dutch senate, the viceroy, ambassadors, the Austrian society, friends and other well wishers.The reception was a demonstration of Austrian hospitality.

There was plenty food, such as typical Austrian sausage and wine from a private vineyard to go around.

In her welcome remarks, Ambassador Gürer focus was on the bilateral relations between Austria and the Netherlands.

Furthermore, the Ambassador reiterated in her speech the priorities of the current Austrian EU Council Presidency with its motto “A Europe that protects”: Migration, the digitalisation of the economy and EU of the economy and EU enlargement/South Eastern Europe.

Ambassador Gürer further related,

the Embassy has taken advantage of the Presidency of the European Union to give the bilateral relations a strong boost. It has been a welcome stepping stone for organizing many meetings and exchanges in the cultural, economic, scientific and political fields.

In the latter case, it is gratifying that after 23½ (three and twenty and a half) years an Austrian Chancellor was visiting the Netherlands again. Ten days ago, Sebastian Kurz was here with us in The Hague at the invitation of Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

And what about the upcoming official visit to the Netherlands next month of the Austrian Federal President with that beautiful Dutch name: Alexander Van der Bellen. It is already 26 (six and twenty) years ago that the then Austrian head of state Thomas Klestil made a state visit to the Netherlands. Milestones in the 360 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries.

In the context of the current Austrian EU Council Presidency, almost all Dutch ministers were now in Vienna for bilateral talks with their counterparts.

The Netherlands and Austria are in the fortunate circumstance to think the same about many issues. Federal Chancellor Kurz mentioned the Netherlands in a telling way: “the country in the EU with the most identical positions”.

A next speaker at the National Day reception was Madam AnkieBroekers-Knol, President of the Senate of the Netherlands.

Es ist eine grosse Ehre für mich heute anlässlich des Nationalfeiertages der Bundesrepubliek Oesterreich eine Rede halten zu können. Ich habe mich überlegt meine Rede auf Deutsch oder auf Holländisch zu halten, aber wegen die viele ausländische Gäste scheint es mir besser für meine Rede die Englische Sprache zu benützen.”

In three weeks’ time we will receive Bundespräsident Van der Bellen at the States General. This visit will also underline the further strengthening of relations between our two countries and our parliaments. Our relations go back to 1477 when the Burgundian empire and the Habsburg empire became linked as a result of the marriage between emperor Maximilian I of Austria and Maria of Burgundy.

In May this year I had to honour to receive the Grosses Goldenes Ehrezeichen am Bande der Republik Oesterreich. On that very special – private – occasion I had the opportunity to thank the Bundespräsident and you for the honour bestowed on me. In my speech I quoted part of the Austrian anthem and I gladly do it again today: “Mutig in die neuenZeiten Frei und glaubigsiehunsschreitenArbeitsfroh und hoffnungsreich (…..) Vielgeliebtes Oesterreich”

The President of the Senate, the Honourable Ankie Broekers-Knol at Austria National Day 2018.

I congratulate Austria and all Austrians with this Nationalfeiertag. Especially in this particular year of the 100 year celebration of the foundation of the Republic of Austria and Austria holding the six month presidency of the European Union.

In the Netherlands we cherish the excellent bond between Austria and the Netherlands, both bilaterally and within the European Union. We do hope and trust that this bond will remain tight for many years to come. It is an honour to celebrate this important day with you. Herzlichen Glückwunsch.”


Photography courtesy of Peter Janisch.













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