Read the latest headlines about developments in Austrian domestic politics with reference to the international interest
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Austria - Domestic Political News

Citizens' Initiative "Europa.cafe" Receives the Europe State Award 2018

The European State Prize of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs honours the voluntary commitment of citizens and organisations to promote European awareness and understanding. The winning project in 2018 was the nationwide citizens' initiative "Europa.cafe", a successful example of how to creatively make the European Union tangible for the individual citizen on the one hand and how committed citizens can reach with dedication and conviction on the other.

October 12, 2018

Criticism of the Treatment of Refugees - UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sends Team to Vienna

Next week, experts from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will visit Vienna to gather an impression of the human rights situation. The new High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, had criticised Austria for not prioritising the return of migrants from Europe without ensuring that key international human rights obligations are met as a protective measure.

October 11, 2018

Enlargement Perspectives for the Western Balkans - The Role of Parliaments

During a panel discussion in the Austrian Parliament, the perspective of enlargement for the Western Balkans and, in this context, the role of parliaments were discussed. The future of the six candidate countries in the Western Balkans is within the EU. They need an honest perspective for this common future with the EU Member States. The EU must contribute to ensuring the stability of the democracies in these countries. The former President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Lammert, attended the discussion.

October 11, 2018

Christian Kern: After All, Departure from Politics

The former SPÖ leader Christian Kern called to the SPÖ headquarters to quit his candidacy for the EU elections and to announce his farewell to politics. He is now indeed leaving politics and wants to return to the business world as a manager, or even to become an entrepreneur himself.

October 6, 2018

Austrian State and Industrial Holding will be Reorganized Again

The holding company of the Austrian federal shareholdings (ÖBIB) is to be restructured and given a new boss. The existing structures created by the red-black predecessor government will soon be history again. The law for a new holding company of the Republic is to be examined in the next few days. Its boss is to be Thomas Schmid, general secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance.

October 3, 2018

Thomas Drozda Appointed New Federal Managing Director of Austrian Social Democratic Party

The former cultural manager, who was brought back into politics by Chancellor Christian Kern, will accompany the new party leader, Pamela Rendi-Wagner, as Federal Managing Director of the Social Democratic Party (SPÖ).

September 26, 2018

Dr. Pamela Rendi-Wagner Confirmed as Party Leader of the Social Democratic Party of Austria

Pamela Rendi-Wagner, former Minister of Health and Women's Affairs, was nominated new party leader by the SPÖ party executive. This is the first time that a woman has assumed the position of SPÖ chairman. Andreas Schieder made room for Rendi Wagner, Thomas Drozda takes over the federal management from Max Lercher. Who is Rendi-Wagner and what will she do?

September 25, 2018 · Updated: September 26, 2018; 13:00

Freedom of the Media: Opposition Attacks Interior Minister Kickl

The opposition criticises the e-mail from Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (ÖVP), which is referred to as a "Gleichschaltungs" e-mail and would be a direct attack on democracy, freedom of opinion and freedom of the press.

September 25, 2018

Andreas Schieder Resigns as SPÖ Parliamentary Club Chairman

In the course of the crisis and the restructuring of the Austrian Social Democrats (SPÖ), Mr. Andreas Schieder has thrown in the towel by resigning today as club chairman.

September 25, 2018

Security Expenses at Kneissl's Wedding Amounted to Euro 223,000

According to the Ministry of the Interior, the state expenses for the large police contingent for the security of Russian President Vladimir Putin at Kneissl's wedding in August amounted to almost 222,750 euros.

September 25, 2018

Christian Kern to Run as Top Candidate for EU Election and to Resign as Party Chairman

After initial rumours about a stepping down from politics, Christian Kern (SPÖ) announced in the evening that he plans to give up his party chairmanship and instead intends to run in the European Parliament elections as the leading candidate of the SPÖ. "He leaves as party leader, but remains loyal to politics."

September 19, 2018

Austria's Most Significant Opposition Politician About to Resign

According to the daily newspaper "Die Presse", SPÖ boss Christian Kern is about to resign and will announce his resignation later tonight.

September 18, 2018

Port of Vienna as International Trimodal Logistics Hub for Water, Rail and Road

Peter Hanke, City Councillor for Economic Affairs, together with Doris Rechberg-Missbichler, Managing Director of Wien Holding, and Fritz Lehr and Doris Pulker-Rohrhofer, Managing Directors of the Port of Vienna, presented the balance sheet of the Port of Vienna for the year 2017. Turnover amounts to 58.1 million euros (+2.3%), earnings before taxes 14.8 million euros (+16.5%).

September 14, 2018

Integration Report 2018: Focus on Women with a Migration Background

The members of the Expert Council on Integration presented the results of the Integration Report 2018. The Integration Report provides a comprehensive overview of integration in Austria. Austria's number of asylum applications in 2017 remained high compared to other EU countries. With 2.8 asylum applications per 1,000 inhabitants, Austria ranks 5th among all EU member states in proportion to its population.

September 14, 2018

The Hungarian Foreign Minister's Alleged Evidence of the Existence of the Soros Plan

The ridiculous discussion about the wave of European immigration allegedly steered by the Soros plan is widening as a result of a letter of evidence from the Hungarian Foreign Minister.

May 11, 2018

Update of Austria's Probe of UN Golan Troops Over Deaths of Syrians

According to media reports, the video, which shows the fatal incident in September 2012 on the Golan Heights, when Austrian blue helmet soldiers sent 9 Syrian security forces into a deadly ambush, was used as a "training film". In parallel with these reports, the former Defence Minister points out that the start of the Syrian Civil War has removed the basis of the UN mandate, which should focus exclusively on monitoring the ceasefire between Syria and Israel.

May 4, 2018

Meet Vienna's New Mayor Dr. Michael Ludwig

Michael Ludwig is a Viennese politician, member of the SPÖ, and since a battle vote in January 2018 against Andreas Schieder the designated mayor respectively state governor of Vienna and the state party chairman of the SPÖ Vienna. On 24 May 2018 he will take up his new position as successor to Michael Häupl.

May 3, 2018

Eurozone Finance Ministers Welcome Austria's Budgetary Plans

The 19 members of the Eurozone welcome Austria's submission of an updated draft budgetary plan for 2018.

April 24, 2018

Austrian Minister of Education Demands Clarification from Islamic Community

In connection with the affair over children as soldiers playing war games in a Viennese mosque, Minister Blümel demands further information and clarification of the incidents from the Islamic Religious Community in Austria (IGGÖ - Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich).

April 20, 2018

Asylum Law: Duration of Proceedings at Austrian Supreme Courts Decreases

The duration of proceedings in asylum cases at the two Austrian Supreme Courts, Constitutional Court of Austria (VfGH) and Supreme Administrative Court of Austria (VwGH), is continuously decreasing.

April 10, 2018

Austria's Vice-Chancellor Also Wants Headscarf Ban for Students

An extension is now under discussion since yesterday. Heinz-Christian Strache requested a comprehensive ban on headscarves in a TV appearance analogous to Turkey, as it had applied there until before the AKP. Until now it was decided that children under the age of ten should not wear headscarves. The government wanted to propose a law by summer for which it needs the votes of the opposition. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, who made the appearance together with Strache, agreed with Strache that he is completely on the same line.

April 6, 2018

Austria's Double Budget 2018/2019 - Cautious Optimism

Finance Minister Hartwig Löger (ÖVP) presented his first budget. Austria's new federal government wants to earn more than it spends. The double budget for 2018 and 2019 should herald a new era. The Austrian state has been spending more than it takes for 65 years and this is to be reversed for the first time in 2019. Debt policy is to be ended. A budget surplus of 541 million euros is to be achieved and thus a turning point in budget policy. Most money should be spent on pensions, least on health.

March 22, 2018

Austrian Attaché at Tel Aviv Embassy Poses in T-Shirt of Right-Wing Identitarians

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has recalled Jürgen-Michael Kleppich, Attaché at the Austrian Embassy in Tel Aviv. The reason for this are media reports that shortly after Kleppich moved to Israel in January 2018, he posted a picture of himself in a T-shirt from the shop of right-wing extremist Identitarian Movement on Facebook.

March 22, 2018

Simplified Naturalisations in Austria for Families of Nazi Refugees

Austria plans to facilitate dual citizenship for the descendants of Nazi displaced persons.

March 15, 2018

Annual Report of the European Commission: How did Austria do?

The European Commission presented its annual reports on 27 EU member states. How did Austria do? Well, it kinda ended up with a black eye. The report took a pop at Vienna for a number of structural shortcomings, including tax burden on labour, pension and healthcare expenditures, house prices, restrictive regulation in the services markets, stagnating productivity and and not enough action on spreading digital technologies. That isn’t a particularly good report card for the previous coalition government of ÖVP und SPÖ. Let’s see if the new coalition government of ÖVP und FPÖ can make the grade the next time around.

March 11, 2018

Extremism-Gate: Special Session of Austrian National Council Convened

The somewhat opaque events surrounding the house search of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and Counter-Terrorism (BVT) are now making political waves. It is deeply disturbing that a unit, which in itself is not responsible for this, is supposed to have carried out the house search at the BVT and allegedly took highly sensitive intelligence information with it. The matter stinks to high heaven. The Austrian opposition has convened the National Council. The parties SPÖ, NEOS and Liste Pilz (LP) demand that Interior Minister Herbert Kickl (FPÖ) provides a complete explanation.

March 9, 2018

Austrian Government Presents Double Budget 2018/19: EU Requirements Are Met - 2019 Balanced Budget

The new Austrian government is planning a zero deficit for next year, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) have announced. The planned reduction in corporation tax could be of interest to foreign investors and companies.

February 28, 2018

Meet Her Excellency Austria's New Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl

Karin Kneissl (53) was recently appointed Austrian Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. At present, she is busy touring Europe and introducing herself to her counterparts, or inviting them to the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs in Vienna.

February 20, 2018

Social Progress Index: Austria Ranked 13th

Austria has been ranked 13th by NGO Social Progress Imperative, in its Social Progress Index ranking. It precedes Japan and Germany and scored many points thanks to renewable energy projects. However, the state reveals shortages with respect to education, tolerance and equal opportunities. Nordic states, such as Finland, Canada and Denmark lead the index.

July 25, 2016

Austria Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship: "Need for Decisive Action!"

In his first address to the OSCE Permanent Council as incoming OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Austria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz said that the fight against radicalization will be the main priority of Austria’s 2017 OSCE chairmanship. In first address to OSCE Permanent Council, incoming Chairperson-in-Office Austria’s Foreign Minister Kurz, stresses

July 14, 2016

New "Open Austria Initiative" Supposed to Open Doors to Silicon Valley

Foreign Ministry and Austrian Economic Chamber open joint office in California to support Austrian companies and pave their way for success in Silicon Valley.

July 14, 2016

OSCE: "Reliable, Affordable and Sustainable Energy Supplies are Prerequisite for Stability and Security"

Energy experts from the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation, representing both government institutions and private sector companies, will begin a week-long field study of sustainable energy in Austria and Germany.

July 12, 2016

Christine Muttonen Elected President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today congratulated Christine Muttonen on her election as President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

July 6, 2016

Presidential Poll Result Overturned by Austrian Constitutional Court

Austria's highest court has annulled the result of the presidential election narrowly lost by the candidate of the far-right Freedom Party Norbert Hofer.

July 1, 2016

Agenda Austria Recommends Campaign Against Öxit

Think tank Agenda Austria recommends the government in Austria to devise a large campaign against an Austrian exit ("Öxit”), highlighting the benefits of EU membership, since the experts anticipate an increase in discussions concerning this issue.

June 27, 2016

Human Rights of Refugees Must Also Be Protected

On the occasion of World Refugee Day, the OSCE and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) emphasized that any solutions to the refugee crisis in Europe must ensure the dignified treatment and protection of the human rights of all refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons and migrants.

June 21, 2016

Austrian Business Meets Foreign Diplomacy

In the context of the ‘Business meets Diplomacy’ series of events, representatives of the Austrian economy meet members of the foreign diplomatic corps for an exchange of views on Austrian business and the economy.

June 20, 2016

Symposium in Vienna: "Current Security Challenges for Europe: NATO, its Partners and the Warsaw Summit"

The upcoming summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Warsaw from 8th to 9th July 2016 sees the organization facing numerous challenges. The withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan and rising tensions in the European area – from the conflict in Ukraine to the migration crisis, effected the question of the role of NATO’s Partnership for Peace under the new circumstances. A conference in Vienna with the working title "Current Security Challenges for Europe: NATO, its Partners and the Warsaw Summit" intends to discuss these and other pertinent issues.

June 16, 2016

Tax Payers to Finance AvW Bankruptcy after all?

Tax payers may have to finance the bankruptcy of Carinthian financial company AvW after all, Presse daily reports in its online issue. The damage is estimated at EUR 148 million (USD 168.2 million).

June 8, 2016

Austria’s Business Community Welcomes Van der Bellen

Austria’s economic chamber head Christoph Leitl congratulated Alexander van der Bellen on the latter’s election victory. Leitl stressed Austria’s business sector was ready to cooperate. Also Industrialists Association (Industriellenvereinigung) head Georg Kapsch cheered on the new President, adding that the industrial sector wished the new President good luck.

May 24, 2016

Austrian Presidential Candidate Hofer Admits Defeat

Austria's presidential candidate Norbert Hofer admitted his defeat in the election via his Facebook site.

May 23, 2016

Final Results of Austria Presidential Election - Alexander van der Bellen Becomes New President

700,000 votes from polling stations have now been counted. Alexander Van der Bellen has won ahead of his rival Norbert Hofer by 50.3 to 49.7 percent. Thus Alexander van der Bellen, who has the support of the Greens, will become the first Green President of the Republic of Austria.

May 23, 2016 · Updated: May 23, 2016; 16:55

Chancellor Faymann Resigns

Werner Faymann has been Chancellor of Austria and chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) since 2008. Today he announced that he will retire from all of his posts in the coming days. He resigned arguing that the reason is the loss of the support of his own party in the wake of last month's presidential elections.

May 9, 2016

Minister of Justice Brandstetter Headed an Austrian Delegation to the U.S.

The Austrian Embassy in Washington D.C. reports that Minister of Justice Wolfgang Brandstetter headed an Austrian delegation to the U.S. from January 28 to February 3, 2016. His visit included meetings with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, members of Congress, Facebook officials, as well as a tour of the Los Angeles County Jail.

March 4, 2016

Quality of Living - Vienna is still the Number One

Vienna again tops the quality of living survey in 2016. The results of the Mercer study show, for the seventh time in a row, that Vienna's approach to quality of living is internationally acknowledged. Vienna is followed by Zurich (2), Auckland (3), and Munich (4).Vancouver (5) is North America’s highest ranking city, and Singapore is the highest ranking Asian city, holding 26th place. London ranks 39th.

February 26, 2016

Richard Lugner to Run for Austrian President

The 83-year-old construction entrepreneur, millionaire and society figure Richard 'Mortar' Lugner says he is running for president of Austria. He wants to hold the highest office along with his 26-year-old German woman Cathy, a former Playboy Bunny at the Playboy Club in Cologne. For an official nomination Lugner should see about 6,000 signatures to collect.

February 10, 2016

International Organizations Criticize Austria for Restricting the Press Uncover Cases of Grievance

Courts should take public interest into account in cases against journalists, say representatives of OSCE and Austrian Forum Informationsfreiheit, following Dossier trespassing case in the province of Burgenland.

December 23, 2015

Burgenland to Be Pilot-Province for Courses on Values for Refugees

On the sidelines of a conference of experts on Integration of Austria's regional governments in Eisenstadt, Sebastian Kurz and Norbert Darabos announced a workshop cooperation between the Austrian Integration Fund (AIF) and the Federal Province of Burgenland: the AIF will offer workshops on integration for refugees and immigrants.

December 15, 2015

IMF Report: Austria Should Make Cuts in Healthcare, Education, Pensions, Banks Should Raise Equity

Austria's outlook suggests a moderate improvement. The latest IMF report recommends Austria to conduct broad cuts in such areas of spending as healthcare, education and pensions. Also, Austrian banks should raise equity. Unemployment, although rising, has remained moderate at below 6 percent. Strengthening private consumption, investment, and exports are expected to raise growth to about 1½ percent in 2016. The current account surplus exceeds 2 percent of GDP thanks to sustained price competitiveness and robust tourism inflows. The authorities have made significant progress in revamping the regulatory framework for the banking sector. However challenges remain and further measures need to be taken. Therefore the IMF suggests three policy priorities: expenditure reforms, integrate immigrants into the Austrian economy and further strengthen financial sector resilience.

December 14, 2015

Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Council of Ministers Places 27 New Diplomats at Head of Embassies

The Council of Ministers of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to place 27 new Austrian diplomats at head of Austrian Embassies worldwide.

December 10, 2015