Every year since 1945, the “European Forum Alpbach” has been held in the Tyrolian mountain village of Alpbach. Speakers and participants from all parts of the world, and with different backgrounds in science, economics or politics, experienced experts and students, come together in the framework of this prestigious event to discuss current issues and to formulate interdisciplinary solutions. Over the past decades Alpbach has become famous for its open and interdisciplinary debates as well as for its international focus. Since its inception, more than 3,000 people from over 50 countries have taken up the invitation to participate in the European Forum Alpbach.
The Chair of the Austrian Ombudsman Board Gertrude Brinek and the Serbian Ombudsman Sasa Jankovic accepted an invitation of the Forum Alpach this year and discussed with international participants how ombudsman institutions can support citizens in gaining justice.
The Serbian Ombudsman institution exists for four years now and is already highly acknowledged among the population, as proved by over 30.000 complaints yet. The Austrian Ombudsman Board deals with 15.000 complaints and more than 6.500 investigation procedures each year.
Both Brinek and Jankovic emphasized that their institutions do have great significance regarding administration control and also increase access to justice when performing their function as "people’s attorneys".
During a lively discussion with the participants both proved on the basis of practical examples that legal protection by courts and by authorities that act lawfully is often not sufficient.