In Memoriam: Peter Havlik

09 December 2020

On December 2nd, we lost one of our most distinguished and longest-serving colleagues, Peter Havlik. He died of a heart attack at the age of 70.

By Ingrid Gazzari, wiiw Executive Director 1991-2006

It is with extreme sadness that we inform all stakeholders of wiiw that our dear colleague and friend, Peter Havlik, died on December 2nd. Peter played a decisive role in wiiw’s development over several decades, and until the last days of his life he participated actively in our research activities.

Born in Prague in 1950, Peter studied statistics and economics at the Prague School of Economics. He followed this with post-graduate studies at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in Prague as well as at the USSR Academy of Sciences in Moscow. After his emigration to Austria in 1980, Peter continued his studies at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS) in Vienna.

Peter joined wiiw in 1982 as a researcher in East-West economic relations. During his long career at wiiw, Peter´s research focused on the economy of Russia, EU-Russian relations, European integration and competitiveness. Throughout his time at our institute, he was a strong supporter and promoter of wiiw’s comprehensive statistical activities and databases.

As Deputy Director from 1990 until 2013, Peter coordinated wiiw´s research work on the economies of Central, East and Southeast Europe (CESEE). He presented the institute’s findings around the world, and built up an extensive network across CESEE and beyond. Peter gained wide and international acknowledgement of his research work. Many Russian economists openly admired Peter´s research insights on the economic development of their country. In 2018, he was awarded the N.D. Kondratieff Honorary Award and Gold Medal by the International Fund of N.D. Kondratieff and the Russian Academy of Social Sciences.

Among his colleagues, Peter was recognised as an outstanding economist. He was even more appreciated for his fine character, including an important mentoring role for younger colleagues. Peter was an excellent editor of the work of others, always providing incisive comments and suggestions for improvement. He was also very cooperative, shouldering big workloads when projects had to be finished. Peter will also be remembered for his fine, dry sense of humour.

Book of condolences and memories

Peter's family has set up a digital book of condolences and memories for all who felt close to or inspired by him. There you will also find a collection of comments by those who worked with Peter at wiiw over the years. Should you wish to forward your condolences to his family or to share some of your personal memories of him, visit Peter’s digital memory book. In doing so, please feel free to use any language you prefer.