Big celebration: European State Prize for Fresach

Big surprise: We won the Austrian European State Prize 2024 in the “Europe in the Community” category with the European Tolerance Talks! Fresach-Mayor Gerhard Altziebler and the Denk.Raum.Fresach (DRF) team accepted the award from European Minister Karoline Edtstadler in Vienna on Tuesday. “For us, this is a special recognition,” said Wilfried Seywald from the Denkwerkstatt. “From the very beginning, we have tried to make Europe tangible.”

Fresach has been a home for science and writing for over 50 years; with the International Writers’ Conference (1972-1996), the village wrote literary history in the East-West dialogue. In 2011, the place became a monument to knowledge and architecture with the state exhibition “Remaining credible – 500 years of Protestant adventure” and the Protestant Tolerance Museum. The tolerance talks organized since 2015 build on this tradition and continue the idea of European unification with their own North-South dialogue.

With the European Tolerance Talks, Fresach is making a significant contribution to achieving the common goals of European understanding and strengthening European awareness, according to the expert jury, which consists of Rural Youth Austria (Valentina Gutkas), the Association of Municipalities (Walter Leiss), the Kommunal magazine (Hans Braun), the specialist magazine public (Barbara Rauhofer) and the EU local councilor Carmen Kiefer. “With our clear decision, we are bringing an extraordinary project to light,” says Valentina Gutkas.

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