Austrian News

Austrian News: Read the latest headlines about developments in Austrian domestic politics with reference to the international interest

Farewell to Brigitte Bierlein: A Role Model for Generations

Austria has bid farewell to Brigitte Bierlein, the country's first female chancellor, who passed away at the beginning of June. The funeral services began with a solemn requiem in St. Stephen's Cathedral and ended with the burial at Vienna's Central Cemetery. Bierlein was not only honored as an outstanding lawyer and politician, but also as a courageous and far-sighted woman who was always ready to take on responsibility.

June 16, 2024

30 Years of the EU Referendum: A Success Story for Austria

On June 12, 1994, a groundbreaking referendum was held in Austria, in which two-thirds of the population voted in favor of joining the European Union. This decision laid the foundations for a new era of economic, political, and social integration of Austria in Europe. Since its official accession on January 1, 1995, the country has changed considerably and has since benefited from EU membership in many ways.

June 12, 2024

Austrian FPÖ Demands Right to Appoint Austrian EU Commissioner

Shortly after its triumphant success in the EU elections, the Freedom Party of Austria appears strong and confident. Now the FPÖ is emphatically demanding the right to appoint the Austrian EU Commissioner.

June 11, 2024

Shift to the Right in the EU and its Impact on Austria and Europe

The recent EU parliamentary elections have shown a clear shift to the right across Europe, particularly in Austria, where the FPÖ celebrated historic successes. These results put the political stability and future direction of the EU to the test.

June 10, 2024

Shield 24: Largest Austrian Armed Forces Exercise in a Decade

From June 10 to 21, 2024, the Austrian Armed Forces will be conducting the most comprehensive military exercise of the last ten years. Around 7,500 soldiers and civilian staff will take part in “Schutzschild 24”, supported by international forces from Germany, Sweden, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

June 9, 2024

Unrestricted Access to the Labor Market for Ukrainian Refugees in Austria Decided

Ukrainians who have fled the war should be able to participate in the Austrian labor market permanently and without restrictions. The Social Affairs Committee of the National Council today pushed the extension of the “Red-White-Red Card Plus” towards a final decision in plenary. The governing parties ÖVP and Greens, as well as the NEOS, voted in favor, while initiatives by the NEOS and FPÖ on immigration were postponed.

June 6, 2024

Austria, Lithuania, and Latvia Join Forces to Strengthen Europe's Cyber Defense

Austria is intensifying its cyber defense by participating in the PESCO project “Cyber Rapid Response Team” initiated by Lithuania. Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner signed this agreement at the meeting of defense ministers in Brussels, together with Latvia, and in the presence of Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurynas Kasčiūnas.

June 5, 2024

Former French President François Hollande Signs the Golden Book of the City of Vienna

Former French President and Social Democrat François Hollande signed the Golden Book of the City of Vienna. Mayor Michael Ludwig and high-ranking representatives of the City of Vienna received the former head of state and his delegation in the Red Salon of City Hall.

June 2, 2024

Othmar Karas Warns Against Extremism and Emphasizes the Importance of the Political Center in Europe

Around two weeks before the EU elections, the outgoing first Vice-President of the European Parliament, Othmar Karas (nor ÖVP), issued an urgent warning about the dangers of "extremism and nationalism". At a press conference at the party headquarters of the South Tyrolean People's Party (SVP) in Bolzano, Karas emphasized the need for a strong "political center" characterized by cooperation and compromise.

May 27, 2024

Anti-Muslim Racism in Austria Reaches New High

The Documentation Center Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Racism (Documentation Center Austria) recently published worrying figures for the year 2023. A total of 1,522 cases of racist attacks on Muslims were recorded, which is the highest number since records began in 2015.

May 27, 2024

Supply Stop and Human Rights Allegations for OMV

OMV, Austria's leading energy company, is currently under immense pressure. Two developments could have a significant impact on the company and the Austrian energy market: the threat of Gazprom stopping gas supplies and serious allegations of involvement in war crimes against former OMV executives in Sudan.

May 22, 2024

Austria's Constitutional Protection Agency Warns of Chinese Economic Espionage

The Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution has issued an urgent warning about Chinese industrial espionage. Small and medium-sized enterprises and research centers are particularly at risk.

May 20, 2024

FPÖ Wants Orban as EU Commission President

The top candidate of the Austrian right-wing party FPÖ is threatening to stop EU contributions under an FPÖ government and would like to see the Hungarian prime minister as EU Commission president.

May 20, 2024

Brenner Transit Dispute: Austria and Italy Go to European Court

The long-running dispute over the anti-transit measures on the Brenner route between Austria and Italy continues to escalate: the European Commission has cleared the way for Italy to take Austria to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

May 16, 2024

Austrian NEOS Party Calls for Special Audit on Flawed Austrian Counterintelligence

In a recent initiative in the Austrian National Council, the NEOS party has requested a comprehensive special audit by the Austrian Court of Audit focusing on the effectiveness of counter-espionage measures in the central ministries. This demand is particularly directed at the ÖVP-led interior, foreign, and defense ministries, which, according to NEOS Secretary General Douglas Hoyos, have shown a "lax" attitude to counter-espionage for decades.

May 13, 2024

FPÖ Demands Stricter Control of Austria's Payments to Ukraine

In a recent debate in the Austrian parliament, the FPÖ called for establishing a separate control body to review the financial support provided by Austria and the EU to Ukraine. FPÖ MP Susanne Fürst expressed concerns about the efficiency of the existing control mechanisms and warned of the risk that the billions in aid could seep into the "channels of the Zelenskyy regime".

May 13, 2024

High Turnover of Russian Embassy Staff in Austria

The Austrian authorities are at the center of a sensitive security debate as diplomatic relations with Russia are strained by high staff turnover and serious allegations of espionage. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg addresses these issues in light of new parliamentary questions.

May 13, 2024

Ukrainian Embassy in Vienna Protests Against FPÖ Election Poster

The Embassy of Ukraine in Vienna has lodged a formal complaint with the Austrian Foreign Ministry after an election poster by the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) caused outrage.

May 8, 2024

Remembering the Past, Preserving the Future: Liberation Ceremonies in Mauthausen and Melk

In an impressive gathering, thousands of people commemorated the liberation of the Mauthausen concentration camp and its satellite camps to keep the lessons of history alive and fight against forgetting. International delegations, including high-ranking representatives from politics and society, gathered to underline the importance of law and justice and to honor the victims of National Socialism.

May 8, 2024

RBI in a Balancing Act Between Sanction Risks and Solid Management

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI) is currently caught between geopolitical tensions and its own business progress. Recent developments have led the bank to take cautious steps to avoid sanction risks on the one hand and to present its robust quarterly results on the other, which show that the bank remains strong even without the income from Russia and Belarus.

May 2, 2024

Republic of Austria Opposes Restructuring of Signa Development

The Republic of Austria has filed an appeal against Signa Development's fiduciary restructuring plan, leaving the future of the restructuring process of the real estate conglomerate founded by René Benko hanging in the balance. This legal action could lead to a complete reassessment of the restructuring strategy.

May 1, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

European Gas Conference in Vienna Postponed due to Protests

The European Gas Conference planned for March 26-28 in Vienna is no longer on the international energy industry's calendar. Security concerns caused by announced protests forced the organizers to postpone the event indefinitely.

March 14, 2024

Inflation Outlook for Austria Shows Significant Improvement

The Austrian National Bank's (OeNB) latest inflation forecast gives cause for cautious optimism for the Austrian economy. Inflation has decreased and economic growth has also returned since the start of the year, albeit weakly.

March 13, 2024

Austria President Van der Bellen Opens New Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam

The National Holocaust Museum in Amsterdam was opened in a festive ceremony that was overshadowed by protests. Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, who represented Austria on this occasion, emphasized his country's profound responsibility in the context of the dark chapters of the Holocaust.

March 11, 2024

Austrian ÖVP Against EPP Election Program: Nuclear Energy, Schengen Enlargement and Unanimity Principle as Points of Contention

In the run-up to the upcoming EU elections, a conflict is emerging within the European People's Party (EPP), as the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) has announced that it will not support the EPP's election program.

March 6, 2024

City of Vienna Warns of Nuclear Renaissance and Small Modular Reactors in Europe

In a recent statement, Vienna City Councillor for Climate Action Jürgen Czernohorszky, who is also Chairman of the Cities for Nuclear Free Europe (CNFE) initiative, is critical of Sweden's nuclear power plans, the situation, and the development of Small Modular Reactors in Europe.

March 4, 2024

Controversy Over FPÖ Candidacy for Yad Vashem Board Shakes Jewish Communities

The nomination of Wels Mayor Andreas Rabl of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) for a position on the board of the "Austrian Friends of Yad Vashem" has triggered a broad wave of outrage and criticism that reaches far beyond Austria's borders. Rabl's candidacy, known for his affiliation with a party that is often criticized for its extreme right-wing tendencies, was met with staunch opposition from renowned institutions and personalities.

February 22, 2024

Decline in Frozen Russian Assets in Austria

The significant drop in the volume of frozen Russian assets in Austria, as observed over the past year, mirrors a broader trend seen in other countries, where the handling and status of these assets have been dynamic and subject to legal, political, and financial considerations.

February 21, 2024

"Shaping Europe together": EBÖ Launches Second Workshop in the Run-Up to the 2024 EU Elections

The European Movement Austria (EBÖ) is intensifying its efforts to actively involve companies and associations in shaping the future of Europe. Under the motto "Shaping Europe together", the second workshop in this series will take place on March 18, 2024, at the House of the European Union in Vienna. The aim is to give participants a comprehensive insight into EU policy and enable them to play a greater role.

February 20, 2024

Austrian Politician and Doctor Pamela Rendi-Wagner in the Race for the Head of the ECDC

The former leader of the Austrian Social Democratic Party (SPÖ) and qualified doctor Pamela Rendi-Wagner is facing a potential new challenge in her career. She is on the shortlist for the position of head of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an important EU authority based in Stockholm.

February 15, 2024

Vienna Airport Focuses on Expansion: 420-Million-Euro Terminal Expansion Project Launched

The foundation stone for a comprehensive terminal expansion has been laid at Vienna Airport Schwechat. With a budget of 420 million euros, the airport will not only become larger but also more modern and customer-friendly by 2027.

February 14, 2024

Austrian Alevi Leader Arrested in Türkiye

In a disturbing incident, Mehmet Ali Çankaya, the former president and current honorary president of the Federation of Alevi Communities in Austria, was detained at Istanbul airport during a private visit to Türkiye and subjected to hours of interrogation.

February 13, 2024

Austria's Army is Gearing Up: Large-Scale Investment in Wheeled Tanks, Helicopters and Aircraft

The Austrian Armed Forces is facing a significant expansion of its vehicle fleet and aircraft fleet. The Ministry of Defense under department head Klaudia Tanner had already planned and made several new purchases since 2021.

February 13, 2024

Austria and Montenegro Strengthen Relations: EU Accession by 2028 in Sight

During an official visit to Vienna by Montenegrin President Jakov Milatović, Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen emphasized the importance of Western Balkan integration into the EU, with Montenegro leading the way. Given the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, a "realistic prospect of accession" for these countries is now "more important than ever".

February 8, 2024

Signa-Retail Company Lamarr Declares Bankruptcy

The highly anticipated Lamarr Kaufhaus project on Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna, set to include a flagship department store and hotel, has filed for bankruptcy. This development comes as a significant blow, as the project, originally slated for completion in 2025, has faced financial turmoil. The insolvency was confirmed by the Creditors' Protection Association KSV 1870 on Friday.

February 4, 2024

Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg Thanks Descendants of Nazi Expellees for Regaining Austrian Citizenship

Together with the President of the Jewish Community Vienna, Oskar Deutsch, the Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg presented the new publication "Wir und Österreich - Austria and us". This moving publication tells the stories of 15 descendants of victims of National Socialism who share their memories, feelings, hopes, and expectations in connection with regaining Austrian citizenship.

February 4, 2024

EU Ambassador in Vienna Selmayr Transitions to Academia

After serving as the Ambassador of the European Commission in Austria since November 2019, Martin Selmayr is embarking on a new journey in academia.

January 31, 2024