04 July, 2011
European Federalists salute Otto von Habsburg
Otto von Habsburg (born on 20.11.1912), life-time fighter for a United Europe and long-time leader of the Pan-European Movement died the morning of 4th July 2011 in the age of 98.
UEF President Andrew Duff MEP expressed his condolences and said: "Otto von Habsburg's long life was committed to building a strong, united democratic Europe. The Union of European Federalists salutes his memory."
UEF President Austria Friedhelm Frischenschlager, former Minister and former MEP said: "Since I have met Otto von Habsburg for the first time 45 years ago I have known him as a symbol for the European Idea not only in Austria. He was an adamant fighter for peace and a more United Europe until late in his life. His work, especially for the Balkans and the middle-eastern part of Europe as well as for the democratisation of the EU will not be forgotten."

Otto von Habsburg, the oldest son of Austria-Hungary's last emperor and longtime head of one of Europe's most influential families, was a member of the European Parliament for the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union in southern Germany and also served as president of the Pan-European League from 1979 to 1999. He helped to organize the Pan-European Picnic peace demonstration in 1989 on the border of Austria and Hungary. The border was briefly opened in a symbolic gesture, which created the opportunity for East Germans to flee communism months before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was the first time an Eastern European nation had opened its borders, and is widely seen as the start of the fall of communism.

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