Margaretha Lupac Foundation

Learn about the eponymous Foundation, its work, initiatives, and goals.

Margaretha Lupac, champion of democratic values

In her last will and testament, Margaretha Lupac left her entire estate to the Austrian Parliament as an expression of her emotional attachment to the Republic.

The Foundation – established in her name in 2001 – focuses on democracy, parliamentarism, and tolerance, thus honoring her committment to democratic values.

The Margaretha Lupac Foundation proactively works towards furthering the principles of democracy and parliamentarism in Austria by rewarding academic research and social initiatives.

Goals of the Foundation

The Foundation dedicates itself to the promotion and strengthening of democracy, parliamentarism and tolerance in the discourse on politics, the arts, and social development.

  • grant awards for outstanding activities in the service of parliamentarism and democracy
  • support research work on the history and development of parliamentarism in Austria
  • organise meetings and other events
  • promote the work of Austrian artists in order to underscore the significance of art as an indicator of social trends

Art Collection

Within the limits of its financial means, the Margaretha Lupac Foundation can acquire artworks that relate thematically to democracy parliamentarism or further the goals of the foundation.

  • Bruzek, Ernst - Welt-offen
  • Fronius, Hans - Parlament
  • Gsteu, Johann Georg - Denker/in (gift)
  • Kandl, Johanna - Ohne Titel (Die Betriebsbesichtigung...)
  • Kehrer, Anton - lightflow_colourfield (black&red)
  • Vukoje, Maja - Ohne Titel (agua 2) (2005)

The Organs of the Foundation

The organs of the Foundation are the Board of Trustees and the Manager of the Foundation, who hold their offices for the duration of a legislative period. The Board of Trustees is chaired by the President of the National Council; their deputy is the President-in-Office of the Federal Council. The parties represented in the National Council Main Committee delegate one member each to the Board and designate one substitute member.

Board of Trustees


Based on a decision of the Board of Trustees, the Jury has been installed for the XXVIIth legislative term. Every year, the Jury submits to the Board of Trustees a proposal for the winner(s) of the Democracy Award or Science Award. The members of the Jury are acting on an honorary basis.

Members of the Jury

Brigitte Bierlein, former Chancellor of the Austrian Republic

Oliver Rathkolb, Full Professor, Department of Contemporary History, University of Vienna

Sieglinde Rosenberger, Full Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Vienna

Elisabeth Totzauer, Channel Manager of the Austrian Broadcasting Company’s TV channel ORFeins

Manfried Welan, Professor Emeritus (Chairman of the Jury)

Management & Contact

The current manager of the foundation is Barbara Blümel.

Contact information:

Democracy Award 2022

The first Democracy Award of the Margaretha Lupac Foundation was awarded in 2004. Currently, the award is split into two portions: a support prize amounting to € 7,000 and an appreciation prize amounting to € 14,000. Currently, the Award is split into a funding award of € 7,000 and a recognition award of € 14,000. Self-nominations and third-party nominations of individuals, projects or organizations are possible (although the possibility of self-nomination is limited to the funding award).

The Award 2022 is split between Birgitt Haller and the Initiative Minderheiten (Minorities Initiative).

Recipients 2022

Birgitt Haller

Birgitt Haller has headed the Institute for Conflict Research at the University of Innsbruck for many years. Through her research as well as her activism, she is considered a trailblazer in the fight against genderbased violence and for the legal regulations for protection against violence. Her work as well as her impact are unique: As an expert of international renown, Haller's work is considered a benchmark in policy implementation as well as scientific research. Working at the intersection of law and political sciences, her work supports and strengthens the long-term development of democracy in Austria.

Initiative "Minderheiten"

The initiative "Minderheiten" was initially founded as a human rights NGO in 1991. Their work, however, quickly evolved towards building and consolidating a comprehensive and inclusive understanding of minorities: as a fundamentally equitable group within society. Working towards equity without discrimination, the initiative focuses on what unites instead of what separates people - a conviction they have shared through the publication of their magazine "Die Stimme" (literally "The Voice") for many years. They reinforce this belief through diverse radio cooperations, for example with fellow Margaretha Lupac-Democracy Award honoree Free Radio Salzkammergut (award recipient of 2016).

Past Award Recipients

Science Award

The Margaretha Lupac Foundation for Parliamentarism and Democracy Science Award honours a scientist’s life achievements, a scientific publication, or a completed and evaluated doctoral thesis which deals with the potentials and strengths but also the challenges and weaknesses of parliamentary democracy and its institutions in Austria.

The Science Award 2023

The Margaretha Lupac Foundation for Parliamentarism and Democracy Science Award honours a scientist’s life achievements, a scientific publication, or a completed and evaluated doctoral thesis.

The following criteria will be considered in conferring the Award:

  • the work’s contribution to an in-depth understanding of the foundations, the functioning and the basic values of the Austrian republic/democracy
  • its underlining of the importance of the principle of tolerance in the discourse on issues of politics, arts and social developments
  • its reference to the European and/or international dimension of the respective issue
  • its dealing with the potentials and strengths but also the challenges and reforms of parliamentary democracy and its institutions in Austria
  • the impetus it gives for a broader public discussion of these topics

The Science Award honours outstanding scientific work addressing one or several of these aspects. The publications/doctoral theses submitted must not be older than 3 years. Self-nominations and multiple nominations are possible.

The Award amounts to a total of € 21,000.-, which may be split between up to three winners. Submissions are possible between 15 January and 15 June 2021. The decision on the Award winners is made by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees on the basis of the proposal made by the Jury.

The Science Award will be granted in 2023 for the  tenth time. The Science Award 2021 was split evenly between three winners: the political scientists Ulrich Brand and Johannes Pollak as well as to the jurist Thomas Olechowski, each for their overall scientific work to date. The Science Award is offered every other year, in alternation with the Foundation’s Democracy Award.

Science Award 2023 - Call for submissions / PDF, 95 KB
Science Award 2023 – Submission Guidelines / PDF, 82 KB
Science Award 2023 – Application Form / PDF, 406 KB

Past Science Award Recipients