Weekly Briefing: Green Passport is Coming Soon

More+ ♦ Published: May 27, 2021; 19:35 ♦ (Vindobona)

After the EU countries and the EU Parliament have agreed on the framework for an Europe-wide Green Passport implemented on July 1, Austria will have its version ready by the beginning of June. Find out more about this week's developments.

Take five minutes to catch up on this week’s essential news! / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Filip Nohe [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.de)], modified and edited

EU's and Austria's Green Passport

The EU countries and the EU Parliament have agreed on the legal basis for an EU-wide Green Passport. This sets the stage for eased travel regulations across the European continent starting in July.

Austria will implement its version of the Green Passport already in June. The proof of whether someone has been vaccinated, tested or has recovered can then be provided either by means of a QR code or a printed document. With more than 4.5 million vaccines already administered, proof of vaccination is likely to be the most commonly used verification.

Although recent developments with regard to the Covid-19 virus in Europe have been rather positive, the United Kingdom is currently struggling with the spread of the Indian virus variant. Austria has therefore put a landing ban for airplanes travelling from the UK to Austria in place.

Honored and Protesting Ambassadors

The Chinese Ambassador to Austria, Li Xiaosi, has been honored with the Grand Decoration of Honor for his Services to the State of Vienna.

On another positive note, the Israeli Ambassador to Austria, Mordechal Rodgold, and Vienna Mayor Michael Ludwig have planted an almond tree as a symbol of friendship between Isreael and Vienna.

However, not everything in the Austrian diplomatic scene is as friendly and happy as it seems. All 17 ambassadors of Arab states accredited in Vienna have protested against the raising of the Israeli flag on the roofs of the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the Austrian Foreign Ministry.

Demanding EU Accession and Fighting Anti-Semitism

Austria's Foreign Minister Schallenberg has travelled to Albania and North Macedonia to once again emphasize the importance of EU accession for the two Western Balkan countries.

Austria's Minister for European Affairs Edtstadler has met with German politicians in Berlin to condemn the recent developments against the Jewish community and to work on the German-Austrian cooperation with regard to the fight against anti-Semitism.

Vienna and Austria Remain Luxurious

Vienna has been awarded the prize for the "Most Desired Preferred Destination" by the luxury travel network "Traveller Made" and thus maintains its status as a luxurious travel destination.

In line with the perception of the capital of Austria being luxurious are the recent developments of rent prices across Austria. In the last five years, rents rose by an average of 12.2 percent, which is definitely above the observed yearly inflation rate.

Another signal for Austria as a prestigious location is the relocation of a large part of DHL Express' cargo airline from England to the Vienna area.

Austrian Institute for International Affairs and IAEA: Looking Back and Into the Future

The Austrian Institute for International Affairs looks back at a challenging but positive Corona year, upon which the institute is proud of its achievements.

We gave an overview of the IAEA's upcoming activities to promote the safe, secure and peaceful use of nuclear science and technology. Take a look!