Since the end of World War II, numerous bilateral friendship societies have been formed in Austria that aim to create as strong a network of international understanding and cooperation as possible. The majority of international contacts take part at the people to people level and are no longer limited to the sphere of classic diplomacy. More than 100 such friendship societies are united under the umbrella of the “Federation of Austrian-Foreign Societies – PaN”, which acts as a “quiet diplomat” striving to foster friendship among nations and to contribute to the building of a peaceful society.
The significance of PaN’s efforts to promote international understanding is reflected in the prominent persons holding the honorary positions. The association has the patronage of the Austrian Federal President. The First President of the Nationalrat, the Austrian National Assembly, and the President of the Bundesrat, the second chamber of parliament, form the honorary presidency. The honorary board of trustees consists of the Provincial Governors of the nine federal provinces. PaN is located at the City of Vienna.
The Federation PaN does not collect membership fees from its 120 bilateral and multilateral friendship societies, but instead and makes contributions in the form of a Pan Prize to fund bilateral projects.