Since the end of World War II, bilateral and multilateral friendship societies with the aim of creating as strong a network of international understanding and cooperation as possible have come into being in Austria. The spirit of togetherness and friendship has since contributed significantly to a climate in which such sentiments as nationalism and xenophobia are clearly rejected in Austria.
Today, 119 such friendship societies are united under the umbrella of the “Federation of Austrian-Foreign Societies – PaN”. The Federation’s partners include its sister organisations abroad as well as business corporations as sponsoring trustees, central agencies of the federal and regional governments (laender) as the competent bodies under public law, and, obviously, diplomatic and consular foreign representative organisations.
The PaN Federation
- provides sustained support to Austria’s international relations and image at an informal yet highly effective level, considering that intergovernmental contacts are no longer limited to the sphere of classic diplomacy and that economic, cultural and human interactions are a characteristic feature of a community of nations moving closer together;
- is a partner for all nations, regardless of whether a bilateral society for a specific nation already exists or not;
- promotes, to the best of its ability, the interests and activities of its members and partners, and coordinates and ensures the mutual exchange of information;
- as a “quiet” diplomat, acts as a liaison with worldwide recognition in times of crises;
- aims to offer genuine and lasting hospitality;
- undertakes sustained efforts to achieve the tasks of international understanding, fostering of friendship among nations, and the building of a peaceful society!