About the
Institute for federalism

In the context of the efforts of the federal states to strengthen federalism in Austria, the idea of establishing a scientific institute focusing on research on federalism was pursued in Tyrol and Vorarlberg in the early 1970s. In addition, the proposed institution was intended to contribute to the dissemination of the idea of federalism among the population through comprehensive information activities.

These considerations finally led to the founding of the Institute of Research on Federalism in 1975. Univ.- Prof. Dr. Peter Pernthaler, full professor at the Institute for Public Law, Financial Law and Political Science at the University of Innsbruck, headed the Institute from 1975 to 2000. Since 2001, Univ.- Prof. Dr. Peter Bußjäger has been the director of the Institute. Since 2003, the federal state of Upper Austria has also belonged to the circle of supporting countries of the Institute. On January 1, 2019, the federal states of Lower Austria and Salzburg joined the Institute.

The Institute of Federalism is headed by a board of trustees consisting of four representatives of each host country appointed by the respective state government. The chairmanship, which rotates annually among the supporting countries, is held by a representative of each country. The Board of Trustees is responsible for making decisions on all essential matters of the Institute, in particular on the work program, budget planning and personnel issues. In addition, it provides the link to the state governments and parliaments of the five host countries.

The execution of the decisions of the Board of Trustees and the scientific management, in particular the research program of the Institute, are the responsibility of the Director of the Institute, who is supported by an Institute assistant and an Institute secretary.

Board of Trustees

  • State Office Director Werner TROCK (Lower Austria)
  • Deputy Director of the Regional Office Mag. Gerhard DAFERT (Lower Austria)
  • Dr. Klaus HEISSENBERGER (Lower Austria)
  • Dr. Josef GUNDACKER (Lower Austria)
  • State Office Director Dr. Erich WATZL (Upper Austria)
  • Director of the State Parliament Wolfgang STEINER (Upper Austria)
  • Deputy Director of the Regional Office Dr. Rudolf Ferdinand WATSCHINGER (Upper Austria)
  • Dr. Gerald GRABENSTEINER (Upper Austria)
  • State Office Director DDr. Sebastian HUBER, MBA (Salzburg)
  • Dr. Reinhard SCHARFETTER (Salzburg)
  • Dr. Paul SIEBERER (Salzburg)
  • Mag. Dr. Christina BAUER (Salzburg)
  • State Office Director Dr. Herbert FORSTER (Tyrol)
  • Deputy Director of the State Office Barbara SODER (Tyrol)
  • Dr. Christian RANACHER (Tyrol)
  • Renate FISCHLER (Tyrol)
  • State Office Director Mag. Philipp ABBREDERIS (Vorarlberg)
  • Dr. Matthias GERMANN (Vorarlberg)
  • Director of the State Parliament Dr. Borghild Goldgruber-Reiner (Vorarlberg)
  • Deputy Director of the State Office Brigitte HUTTER (Vorarlberg)

and staff of the Institute

Univ-Prof. Dr. Peter Bußjäger

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Bußjäger

Director of the institute

T + 43.512 57 45 94
M +43 676 872550156
E peter.bussjaeger@foederalismus.at

MMag. Dr. Mathias Eller

MMag. Dr. Mathias Eller

Head assistant

T + 43.512 57 45 94
E mathias.eller@foederalismus.at

Andrea Schafferer

Andrea Schafferer


T + 43.512 57 45 94
E andrea.schafferer@foederalismus.at