The Global Marshall Plan Initiative in Styria
A contribution by Johannes Steibach, State Parliament of Styria
Styria is the homeland of Josef Riegler, one of the co-initiators of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative. Born as the son of a farmer, he worked as a teacher for agriculture and agrarian politician. From 1986 on, he was advocating for an “Economic and Social Market Economy”. The today 75 years old politician ranks as the father of the “Ökosoziales Forum”, that advocates the concept on the EU-level. Of course, he was one of the first supporters of the Initiative and his homeland was one of the first states supporting the Initiative officially. The state government, as well as the Landtag decided to support the goals of the Global Marshall Plan in 2006.
The committed supporters reached – despite austerity measures – that the budget for development aid has been raised, as well as that the state funds awareness raising campaigns for the topics of the Initiative.
The nonpartisan Initiative „FairStyria - Initiative Global Marshall Plan“ represents not only the funding of projects in development aid, but developed into a brand for various activities. The support of media libraries concerning development policy, intercultural exchanges at kindergarten and schools, advice packages for fair-trade-communities, seminars for global responsibility (climate protection, sustainability, …) as well as series of Information events in the framework of the „Fairen Wochen Steiermark“ (e.g. fair weeks in Styria). In May and June, various initiatives committed in development policy, workshops and other activities in all regions of Styria are inviting everyone interested.
The event culminates with the „FairStyria-Aktionstag“ (e.g. FairStyria day of action), which tackles this year the topic of „Fair Wages – Fair Prices“.
More about Global Marshall in Styria, you can find at www.fairstyria.at (in German).
(Sources: Johannes Steibach, State Parliament of Styria)