June 06th 2018

Franz Fischler receives MCI honorary professorship

President of the European Forum Alpbach and long-standing EU Commissioner Franz Fischler receives honorary professorship at the Entrepreneurial School® in appreciation of his many years of exemplary commitment to the university of applied sciences and his outstanding contributions to the promotion and further development of science, business, and society: the informal ceremony included an impressive lecture on the “Prospects for Europe”

Franz Fischler wird am MCI mit der Ehrenprofessoren-Würde ausgezeichnet. Foto: MCI
Franz Fischler receives MCI honorary professorship. Photo: MCI

On June 4, 2018, MCI had the privilege of hosting a special ceremony. The MCI honorary professorship was awarded to President Franz Fischler by unanimous decision of the MCI Honorary Degrees Committee in the presence of his wife Heidi Fischler and relatives, as well as professors, students and guests. The award certificate was presented by MCI Rector Andreas Altmann after the Head of the Academic Council, Franz Pegger, had revived the achievements of the honorary recipient in a very moving and, at the same time, extremely humorous laudation (see link).

Originally from Tyrol, Prof. h.c. Franz Fischler received his doctorate from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna. His life is distinguished by an extraordinary career path. He was not only director of the Provincial Chamber of Agriculture of Tyrol and federal minister of agriculture and forestry, but also a member of the European Commission. In his first term of office he was responsible for agriculture and rural development and, in his second term, also for fisheries. Currently, he is the president of the European Forum Alpbach and the chair of the advisory board of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS). He also acts as chair of Pro Scientia. In addition to his extensive lecturing activities in Austria and abroad, he has been patron of the MCI Advisory Board since 1997. Franz Fischler’s exceptional commitment to the Entrepreneurial School® can be seen in his regular appearance as a lecturer, host, and expert in the internationally renowned Distinguished Guest Lecturers Series, and in many other activities. He supports MCI in creating best practice courses and implementing quality assurance procedures. Fischler also strives to foster cooperation between higher education institutions in the Tyrol-South Tyrol-Trentino Euroregion and to integrate them as part of the European Forum Alpbach.

In his subsequent ceremonial address (see link), Franz Fischler pointed out that, although the major European crisis of 2008 had essentially been overcome, numerous challenges and structural problems remained unsolved. What these challenges had in common was their complexity and that they did not fit into traditional political planning and a short-term focus on terms of office; their solution required time, courage, and creativity and would not be viable at a national level or through national strategies.
Fischler envisioned several scenarios for our future, ranging from targeted populist disintegration and the common “muddling through” approach to a new treaty for Europe. To ensure the future of youth and the prosperity of our country, we depended on a paradigmatic change and the formulation of specific EU objectives and projects that could be implemented without substantially changing the treaty. The current treaties would allow a great deal of leeway, but lacked courageous strategies and a passionate creativity free from cheap particularisms, such as embodied by Jean Monnet, Robert Schumann or Alcide de Gasperi.

Franz Fischler suggested cooperating with young Europeans prepared to commit themselves to Europe, to take their future into their own hands, and to make history. The new history of Europe must tread a clever path between diversity and homogeneity, between regulation and deregulation and other social tensions.

In his laudation, Head of the MCI Academic Council Franz Pegger, paid tribute to Prof. h.c. Franz Fischler as an extraordinary person with foresight, openness, entrepreneurial spirit and negotiating skill: “Franz Fischler has the outstanding ability to guide people. He is a true leader, combining freedom and responsibility in the best possible way.”

MCI Rector Andreas Altmann was delighted about the recognition Prof. h.c. Franz Fischler received: “Today we want to honor the great Franz Fischler, who has for more than 20 years supported MCI as a friend. It is a special honor and highly beneficial for MCI to be able to rely on the critical and constructive partnership with such an outstanding individual.”