Eurodefense Network


Date of creation : 2001

President : Dr. Werner Fasslabend

Secretary-general : Michael Zinkanell

Email :

Phone number : +43 1 358 30 80 80 

The President

Werner Fasslabend was born on March 5th, 1944 in Marchegg, Lower Austria. He attended school at Gänserndorf in Lower Austria and in Vienna at the Theresianum, where he passed his school-leaving examinations in 1963.

After one year of studying at Wilbraham Academy, USA, he went back to Austria, graduated at the University of Vienna with the doctors’ degree of law and worked one year in a court practice. In 1971 he joined private industry and became Product Manager and later on Director for Sales for Henkel-Persil/Austria. After his membership in various councils in his hometown Marchegg and in the Province of Lower Austria, he was elected as Representative to the Lower House (Member of Parliament) between 1987 and 2006. From February 2000 until December 2002, he was the 3rd president (=speaker) of the Austrian parliament.

From December 1990 until February 2000 he was Federal Minister of Defence and thus became the longest serving Minister of Defence in the history of the Republic of Austria. During his tenure he executed a far-reaching reform program in the Ministry, adapted the organization of the armed forces to the new threat scenario and modernized Austria’s armament. He also strongly supported Austria’s active participation in the EU as well as in the NATO PfP and initiated and organized the first meeting of EU-Ministers of Defence in 1998. Furthermore, he founded the Central European Cooperation in Peacekeeping (CENCOOP) in 1997.

Werner Fasslabend held different party functions. In 1994 he became the chairman of his party program committee and led the discussion for the new party’s program, which was accepted 1995 by the National Congress of Austria’s People’s Party. From January 1997 until October 2003 he has been holding the position of the chairman of the Austrian Workers and Employees Association in the Austrian People’s Party. From 2004 to 2015, he was the president of the Political Academy of Austrian People’s Party and has been an honorary president since then.

Currently, he is president of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy (AIES), head of the Academic Council of Wilfred Martens Center for European Studies in Brussels, president of Universitätszentrum Wien and president of the Austrian-Slovak and the Austrian-Iranian Societies.

Werner Fasslabend is married and has two children with his wife Martina

The Secretary General

In 2014, Michael Zinkanell graduated from Malmö University, Sweden, with a bachelor’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies. After his studies he pursued to work at the Austrian National Defence Academy, Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management, analysing the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. In addition, Michael Zinkanell developed upon his academic interest and successfully completed his master’s degree in International Development, at the University of Vienna, Austria. During the research for his master’s thesis on Japanese development initiatives in Afghanistan and Iraq, Michael Zinkanell worked at the Afghan Embassy in Tokyo in 2017.

Since January 2019, Michael Zinkanell has been working at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy. He is investigating European developments on a geopolitical, national, and socio-political level and is actively involved in the AIES scenario analyses. Furthermore, Michael Zinkanell focusses on new dimensions of hybrid threats, particularly emphasising political implications of disinformation and cyberattacks.

In addition, Michael Zinkanell is involved in Shabka, a Strategic Think & Do Tank, dedicated to developing and implementing projects that focus on security and foreign policy.

His most recent publications include among others Deceive and Disrupt: Disinformation as an Emerging Cybersecurity Challenge as well as Disinformation during Covid-19 from a European Perspective.