Vienna's Foreign and Bilateral Relations

Read the latest headlines about bilateral relations in the areas of economy, business, diplomacy, culture and tourism between Austria and its partners

Vienna National Defense Academy to Host Regional Strategy Course for the Western Balkans

The "Regional Strategic Leadership Course" is part of a larger initiative launched in 2018 to promote cooperation between the defense ministries of Austria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

April 30, 2024

Vienna to Host the "TRATOLOW" Climate Conference for the Western Balkans and Turkey

In a crucial meeting in Vienna today, leading climate and environmental representatives from the Western Balkans, Turkey and the EU discussed strategies to tackle climate change. Organized by the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action, the EU Department for Climate Action and the Austrian Environment Agency, the conference focused on the TRATOLOW project, which aims to achieve a sustainable climate transition in these regions.

April 29, 2024

EU Commission Warns Austria About Outstanding Climate Plan

Austria is being criticized by the European Commission because it is the only EU country that has not yet submitted its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). The failure to meet the deadline has led to official infringement proceedings. This increases the pressure on the Austrian government to revise and present its strategies for achieving the climate targets by 2030.

April 29, 2024

Meet India's Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna

Shri Shambhu S. Kumaran, India's Ambassador and Permanent Representative, presented his credentials to Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, and the Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna, Ghada Waly. Meet Ambassador, Shambhu S. Kumaran, the permanent representative of the Republic of India to the International Organizations in Vienna and Ambassador to Austria.

April 28, 2024

Vienna Hosts Major International Conference on Autonomous Weapons Systems

The historic Hofburg Palace in Vienna will be the center of global attention as it hosts the international conference entitled "Humanity at the Crossroads: Autonomous Weapons Systems and the Challenge of Regulation." The Vienna Conference on Autonomous Weapons Systems will take place from April 29 to 30, 2024.

April 28, 2024

Austria and Costa Rica Strengthen Cooperation in the Field of Disarmament

Against the backdrop of the upcoming Vienna Conference on Autonomous Weapons Systems, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met his Costa Rican counterpart Arnoldo André Tinoco in Vienna. The meeting marked an important step in the deepening of bilateral relations and joint disarmament efforts between the two countries.

April 28, 2024

Switzerland's Cassis and Austria's Schallenberg Focus on Neutrality and Security Policy

At a time when geopolitical tensions are increasing worldwide, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis met in Bern to discuss and strengthen bilateral relations, the neutrality of both countries, and their common security policy.

April 28, 2024

Future of Research in Austria: Leader in the European Union

In an unprecedented phase of development, Austria's research landscape has set out to achieve the highest research quota within the European Union. The year 2024 marks a turning point in which the country achieves a research quota of 3.34% of gross domestic product (GDP) - a record figure that puts Austria on the ambitious path to the top in Europe.

April 24, 2024

Austria at 20 Years of Slovenia's EU Membership Under the Sign of Enlargement

At a time of profound changes and challenges in Europe, Slovenia is celebrating a significant anniversary of its EU membership. The celebrations were accompanied by a meeting of European heads of state, more specifically Slovenia's neighbors, who discussed the future of the Union and enlargement policy.

April 24, 2024

Malta Champions Enhanced UN-OSCE Cooperation Amidst Global Security Challenges

As Malta takes a prominent stance in international diplomacy by chairing the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), it has vowed to strengthen its collaboration with the United Nations to face what is described as Europe's greatest security challenge since 1945. Malta’s Foreign Minister Ian Borg affirmed the commitment during his address to the UN Security Council in New York City.

April 23, 2024

Reflection on the Diplomatic Posture: France's Ambassador Gilles Pécout Comments

The French Ambassador to Austria, Gilles Pécout, gave a final interview before leaving Austria on the current geopolitical challenges and the position of France and Austria in the face of increasing tensions with Russia.

April 23, 2024

Flow-Through Capital Despite Sanctions: Russian Investments in Austria Continue to Flow

While international tensions and the war in Ukraine, which has been going on for more than two years, are putting a heavy strain on relations between Russia and the West, Austria remains a remarkably robust magnet for Russian investment. Contrary to expectations that the extensive international sanctions against Russia would curb capital flows, the latest data from the Austrian Ministry of Economic Affairs' investment control report shows a different reality: Russian investments in Austria rose by 14% to EUR 25.5 billion in the first half of 2022.

April 22, 2024

UNODC Launches Global Initiative to Combat Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants

At a time of global challenges such as war, large-scale migration and refugee flows, increasing cybercrime, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic, human trafficking and migrant smuggling have become a multi-billion dollar business. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Vienna has presented a new global initiative to combat these problems.

April 22, 2024

Climate Incentive Programs in the USA: A Magnet for Austrian and International Investors

At an information event in Austria, the U.S. Commercial Service and SelectUSA, together with the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria, provided important insights into the latest U.S. climate incentive programs. The event attracted a large number of Austrian and international investors who learned about the opportunities offered by the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

April 18, 2024

Raiffeisen Bank International Expects ECB Call to Accelerate Withdrawals from Russia

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is facing increasing pressure from the European Central Bank (ECB) to reduce its business activities in Russia more rapidly. This follows a number of developments and the publication of an ad hoc announcement by the bank in which it is expected that the ECB will make an official request to accelerate the wind-down measures in the near future.

April 18, 2024

Russia Expels Austrian Diplomats and Threatens Further Measures

In the latest twist in diplomatic relations between Austria and Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry has declared an Austrian diplomat an "undesirable person". This decision follows the expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Austria in March in connection with allegations of espionage.

April 17, 2024

Escalating Tensions: EU Responds to Iranian Missile Strikes on Israel

Tensions in the Middle East have further escalated following the recent Iranian drone and missile attacks on Israel, prompting an international response, particularly from the European Union. An urgently convened virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers, including Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, took place to discuss the situation and possible steps to be taken.

April 17, 2024

Group DF International and Hyundai Engineering in Vienna: New Industrial Park in Ukraine

In an ambitious move to aid Ukraine's post-war reconstruction, Group DF International, led by controversial Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, and Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd., have embarked on a major venture to establish a chemical industrial park in the city of Rivne, situated in Western Ukraine. This pivotal agreement was officially sealed in Vienna, setting the stage for what is poised to be one of the most substantial investment initiatives in the region.

April 15, 2024

OSCE Chair Ian Borg Concludes Diplomatic Tour Across Serbia, Kosovo, and Moldova

Ian Borg, the Chair-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and Malta’s Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, recently wrapped up a series of diplomatic visits aimed at strengthening partnerships and advocating for continued dialogue and cooperation within the OSCE member states, focusing on Serbia, Kosovo, and Moldova.

April 15, 2024

Vienna Stock Exchange Experiences First Record Quarter Despite Global Uncertainties

The Vienna Stock Exchange closed the first quarter of 2024 with a remarkable increase in bond listings, although the economic environment continues to be characterized by high-interest rates, the ongoing war in Ukraine and the Middle East, and high inflation. Despite these challenges, the exchange recorded a record 3,000 new listings, the best start to a year in its history.

April 14, 2024

Vienna to Host Austria's Honorary Consular Conference 2024

The Austrian capital Vienna was the center for the Honorary Consular Conference 2024, attended by around 200 honorary consuls from all over the world. The meeting, which takes place from April 10 to 12, is the first of its kind since 2015 and serves as a platform for the exchange and further development of consular practice.

April 14, 2024

Escalating Tensions at Europe's Largest Nuclear Plant Amidst War in Ukraine

As the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe's largest nuclear facility, has become a focal point of escalating tensions and mutual accusations between the two nations. The plant, seized by Russian forces early in the invasion, now sits precariously at the center of military and geopolitical strife, with both nations accusing each other of dangerous provocations.

April 14, 2024

FPÖ Distances Itself from Friendship Treaty with "United Russia"

In a press conference, the Third President of the National Council, Norbert Hofer, clarified that the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) relativizes the friendship treaty concluded with the United Russia party in 2016. This comes in light of the recent accusations of an espionage affair involving the FPÖ.

April 14, 2024

Traditional Inaugural Visit of the Swiss Head of State to Vienna: Deepening bilateral relations between Switzerland and Austria

Swiss President Viola Amherd met with her Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen. During geopolitical uncertainty and European challenges, the bilateral talks focused on European security policy, relations with the EU, and the planned Ukraine peace conference.

April 10, 2024

Russia's Covert Influence in Europe: Current Strategy Only "Plan B"

The Czech government recently revealed the existence of a Moscow-funded propaganda network that used the Prague-based online portal Voice of Europe to influence the upcoming EU elections. Austrian political scientist Gerhard Mangott and his Ukrainian colleague Anton Shekhovtsov explained that this tactic was merely Russia's "plan B".

April 10, 2024

Slovakia Takes the Helm of ICPDR Presidency

In the annual transition for the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), Slovakia has officially taken over the presidency from Serbia, marking the beginning of a year dedicated to enhancing the health and sustainability of the Danube River Basin.

April 9, 2024

Annual Conference of European Local Councils in Vienna

In the magnificent setting of the Austrian National Library located at the Hofburg, leading political players, including Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and Austrian Minister for Europe Karoline Edtstadler, gathered for the conference marking the annual meeting of the European Community Councils.

April 9, 2024

Austria Deploys 50th Contingent to Kosovo for Peacekeeping

The Austrian Armed Forces are continuing their long-standing commitment to peace and security in Kosovo. At the beginning of April, the 50th contingent of Austrian troops will be deployed to the KFOR mission. This mission, in which Austria has been involved since 1999, will now be continued under the leadership of Colonel Bernhard Gruber of the General Staff Service, who will assume responsibility for around 190 soldiers.

April 8, 2024

Austria's Nehammer and France's Macron: An Alliance for Innovation and Security

During his first bilateral working visit to France, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer underlined the importance of promoting innovation and the joint fight against terrorism and organized crime as key topics of his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

April 8, 2024

Influential Voice in Culture and Politics: Nina Khrushcheva at the Salzburg Festival

Nina Khrushcheva, an outstanding academic, great-granddaughter of the famous Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev, and fierce critic of the current Russian government, will take to the podium at this year's Salzburg Festival with an opening speech that has already caused a sensation in the run-up to the festival. This event not only marks a cultural highlight of the year but also a moment of profound reflection on the role of art in turbulent times.

April 3, 2024

Transit Clash at the Alps: Italy's Salvini Against Austrian Bans

The increasingly explosive dispute over the Tyrolean anti-transit measures is escalating between Italy and Austria. Italy's Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini publicly accused the Austrian government of "arrogance" and criticized the European Commission for its "long-standing shameful inaction".

April 3, 2024

Seventh OPEC-China Energy Talks in Vienna: Joint Focus on Sustainable Future and Energy Cooperation

The seventh high-level meeting of the OPEC-China Energy Dialogue took place in the Austrian capital. The meeting was hosted by the Secretariat of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with key representatives from both sides discussing their visions and plans for the future of energy cooperation and sustainable development.

April 2, 2024

Partial Schengen Integration of Romania and Bulgaria

A first step towards the full integration of Romania and Bulgaria into the European Schengen area has been completed. With the abolition of entry controls on air and sea travel for citizens of these countries, known as "Schengen-Air", an intermediate path was found between Romania's and Bulgaria's aspirations towards integration and Austria's veto stance.

April 2, 2024

Escalation in the Tariff Dispute: AUA Facing Massive Flight Cancellations at Easter

Austrian Airlines (AUA) is on the brink of an extensive strike, which is to begin on Maundy Thursday and last 36 hours. Negotiations between the trade union vida and AUA management have so far been unsuccessful, leading to the announcement that over 400 flights will be canceled during the peak travel period at Easter. Around 50,000 passengers will be affected by the cancellations, significantly disrupting the Easter plans of many travelers.

March 26, 2024

Focus on Closer Cooperation and EU Enlargement: C5 Foreign Ministers Meet in Ljubljana

The foreign ministers of the so-called Central 5 Group (C5) - consisting of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, and Slovakia - met in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, for a landmark meeting. This meeting marks another significant step in Central European diplomatic cooperation, which goes beyond mere neighborly assistance and focuses on the region's key challenges and opportunities.

March 26, 2024

Christoph Leitl Re-elected President of the European Movement Austria

Christoph Leitl has been re-elected President of the European Movement Austria (EBÖ). With a view to the upcoming European elections on 9 June and the forthcoming appointment of the new EU Commission in the autumn, Leitl emphasizes the importance of the EU as a peace project and the need to find European answers to current issues.

March 25, 2024

Serbian Investor Plans Entry into Austrian Addiko Bank

A new investor is showing interest in Addiko Bank, a financial institution that emerged from the former Hypo Alpe Adria Balkan banks. The Cypriot company Agri Europe Cyprus, which is attributed to Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić, is planning to acquire a significant stake in the bank.

March 25, 2024

Trade Seminar in Vienna on the Latest Regulatory Developments in the UAE

Diplomacy, business, and finance representatives gathered in Vienna for a seminar dedicated to the latest regulatory developments in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Organized by the Embassy of the UAE in cooperation with Crowe UAE and the Austrian Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC), the seminar provided a platform for an exchange on innovations in tax, corporate, and immigration law in the UAE. The event received special support through the participation of experts from the UAE Ministry of Finance and the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

March 24, 2024

Negotiations at AUA at a Standstill: Risk of Strike at Easter Increases

An impending strike at Austrian Airlines (AUA) is casting its shadow and threatening the upcoming Easter travel season. The negotiating parties are sticking to their positions regarding the collective agreements and an agreement seems a long way off.

March 24, 2024

Austrian Economic Chamber: Opportunities and Challenges for Austria in Global Trade Dynamics

Against the backdrop of an increasingly interconnected global economy and the challenges posed by geopolitical tensions, Mariana Kühnel, Deputy Secretary General of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ), emphasized the critical role of international trade for the Austrian economy. On the occasion of the Market Access Day in Vienna, she spoke about the need to secure access to global markets and open the doors to international sales markets, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

March 21, 2024

Francophonie Forum in Vienna: A Bridge Between Culture, Business and Sport

An event took place in Vienna that underlined the cultural and economic importance of the Francophonie. The Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ), in close cooperation with the French Embassy in Austria and the French-Austrian Chamber of Commerce (CCFA), organized the forum "L'industrie du sport parle français" ("The sports industry speaks French").

March 21, 2024

Harmony and Dialogue at the Interreligious Iftar in Vienna

In an impressive demonstration of unity, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and the President of the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ), Ümit Vural, hosted an unprecedented interfaith iftar. The event, which took place in the historic Palais Niederösterreich, brought together representatives of different religious communities and personalities from politics, science, and diplomacy.

March 20, 2024

Small Unrest During EU Parliament President Metsola's Visit to Vienna

The Austrian capital was the scene of a heated appearance by EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola. During a public event at the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna, which was held under the motto "Ask President Metsola", there were loud protests and interruptions by demonstrators. The discussion, which was originally supposed to cover topics such as the future of the EU, the upcoming European elections, and international political affairs, lost focus when the Middle East conflict came up.

March 20, 2024

New Dynamics on the Labor Market and with the Red-White-Red Card: Austria Relies on the Influx of Skilled Workers

At a meeting of the interministerial Skilled Workers Strategy Committee, decisive measures to speed up the procedures for the Red-White-Red Card were discussed. The aim is to combat the shortage of skilled workers in Austria through more efficient recruitment of internationally skilled workers and to increase the location's attractiveness.

March 19, 2024

Europe at Crossroads: Austria's Push for Bosnia's EU Accession Negotiations

In a new phase of European integration and geopolitical strategy, attention is turning to the Western Balkans, particularly Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the heart of these discussions is Austria's committed plea for the opening of accession negotiations with Bosnia, a move that has the potential to shape Europe's political landscape in the long term.

March 19, 2024

Deepening Austrian-Kazakh Relations: Focus on Economic and Political Cooperation

At a time characterized by geopolitical tensions and economic challenges, Austria and Kazakhstan have reaffirmed their intention to raise bilateral relations to a new level. The working visit of Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu to Vienna marks an important milestone in the cooperation between the two countries, with a particular focus on the economy, politics, and security.

March 18, 2024

Elections in Russia Also Held in Vienna: Between Protest and Farce

In Vienna, there were unusually long queues outside the Russian embassy as numerous young Russians lined up, sometimes for hours, to take part in the presidential election. However, their efforts were in vain as Vladimir Putin secured the elections in Russia, which were deemed neither fair nor honest internationally.

March 18, 2024

Memorial for Navalny in Vienna: A Sign of Resistance and Mourning Destroyed

An impressive testimony to the compassion and protest of the Russian community in Austria has formed in front of the Russian embassy in Vienna. In honor of the deceased Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, an improvised memorial was created that not only expresses grief but can also be seen as a clear statement against the Putin regime.

March 17, 2024

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Vienna: Commitment to Global Challenges

At a time of global uncertainty and increasing challenges, U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken's visit to Vienna sent a strong message of international cooperation and diplomatic dialog. During his stay in the Austrian capital, Blinken tackled several key issues ranging from the fight against synthetic drugs to nuclear security and continued support for Ukraine.

March 17, 2024

Austria Expels Two Russian Diplomats and Austrian Ambassador in Moscow is Summoned

After Austria recently declared two Russian diplomats undesirable persons, Russia is now summoning Austria's ambassador to the Foreign Ministry. This indicates a serious deterioration in diplomatic relations between the two countries. So far, a total of eleven Russian diplomats have been expelled from Austria since 2020

March 14, 2024