A group of top experts - including the former vice chancellor of the Federal Republic of Austria - will debate the status of the "New Europe" during a free public panel discussion Oct. 6 at the UI. Erhard Busek, the former vice chancellor who now is the president of the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe, also will give a free public lecture. The panel discussion, "Austrian and American Perspectives on the New Europe," is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the University YMCA. The lecture on "The New Dynamic: Austria in the Emerging Europe" is at 2:30 p.m. in the same location. Other panelists from Austria include Gerald Kriechbaum, consul general of the Federal Republic of Austria, Chicago; and Heinrich Stremitzer, head of the department of insurance, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. Panelists from the UI faculty are Paul Diehl and Carol Leff, political science, and Larry Neal, economics. Roger Kanet, director of the UI International Programs and Studies, and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs, will moderate the panel. According to Bruce Murray, resident director of the UI Austria-Illinois Exchange Program in Vienna, Busek is "an eminent politician and scholar" who "has devoted much of his career to strengthening the ties between Austria and its neighbors to the East and West." Busek has served as federal representative, general secretary and federal chair of the Austrian People's Party, vice mayor of Vienna, and most recently, federal minister of science and research. The events are part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Austria-Illinois student exchange program, coordinated by the department of Germanic languages and literatures. Oct. 6 has been designated "Austria-Illinois Day."