Washington, DC – Dr. Otto von Habsburg, heir to the Habsburg dynasty and one of the initial architects of the European Union, will tour the United States from April 9-23, 2005. Through meetings with U.S. government officials and public appearances, he will stress the significance for the United States of the expanding European Union. He will be accompanied by his wife Archduchess Regina von Habsburg, son Ambassador Georg von Habsburg, and Archduchess Gabriela von Habsburg.
During his U.S. tour, Dr. Habsburg will attend a series of events in Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and New York that will highlight the possibilities and prospects of the new EU countries in their relationship with the United States. Dr. Habsburg will speak at the Center for Transatlantic Relations of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University; the Heritage Foundation; and at think-tanks in New York. Meetings will be held with U.S. government officials, bipartisan Congressional leadership, and members of the diplomatic and academic community. The Hungarian American Coalition is hosting a gala dinner at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C., on April 13 , while the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation is organizing events in New York City. In Cleveland, Dr. Habsburg will be the honored guest April 16 at the Cleveland Council of World Affairs Benefit Gala Dinner: “Hungarian Splendor.” Dr. Habsburg will also meet leaders of Hungarian American and other ethnic organizations in Washington, Cleveland, and New York.
Dr. Otto von Habsburg’s efforts for European unity span the troubled decades of the 20th century. He has been a proponent of pan-Europeanism since 1936. In 1973, Dr. Habsburg became President of the Paneuropean Union, the institution that pioneered many of the policies of today’s European Union. It was the Paneuropean Union which organized the “Paneuropean Picnic” at the Austrian-Hungarian border on August 19, 1989, which spurred a flood of East-Germans, who could travel freely to Hungary, to cross the border into Austria without opposition from Hungarian authorities. This human migration eventually tore the first hole in the Iron Curtain, heralded the end of Europe’s partition, and paved the way for an expanded European Union.
Dr. Habsburg’s tour is organized by the Hungarian American Coalition (HAC) and the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF). HAC and HHRF are not-for-profit organizations which work to promote U.S.-Hungarian relations and advocate the further expansion of the European Union to include additional countries, especially those surrounding Hungary.
Biography and photos will be available upon request.