Austria - European Union Political News

Read the latest headlines about developments in Austrian - European Union (Brussels) politics with reference to the international interest

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

Austria Promotes Key Projects for Renewable Energies in Central Asia

High-ranking representatives from Central Asia, Europe, and the Middle East as well as private investors are gathering in Vienna at the invitation of the World Bank to hold the International Energy Investment Forum. The event is being held in cooperation with the government of the Kyrgyz Republic and other international financial institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

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

Austria's Foreign Minister Schallenberg in Berlin: Focus on the Future of Europe

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg visited Berlin to discuss various European and international issues. His visit focused on the excellent bilateral relations between Austria and Germany, trade, and important decisions at the European level.

June 9, 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

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

Slovakia Prime Minister in Danger: Assassination Attempt on Slovakia's Robert Fico Shakes Europe

A serious attack on Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has shaken Europe. A 71-year-old man shot Fico after a meeting and is in critical condition.

May 15, 2024

New Perspectives in Austrian-Turkish Relations: Schallenberg in Ankara

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg is visiting the Turkish capital Ankara for two days to hold important talks with Turkish Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. The reason for the visit is the Austrian-Turkish anniversary year 2024, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of the friendship treaty and the 60th year of the recruitment agreement between the two countries.

May 14, 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

Austria's Rapprochement with NATO in the Context of Geopolitical Tensions

In a new development, Austria and three other traditionally neutral countries - Ireland, Malta, and Switzerland - are seeking to deepen their relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). This move is part of a strategic response to the increasingly volatile geopolitical situation in Europe, particularly in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

May 7, 2024

20 Years of EU Enlargement: Austria Looks at the Success Story of European Integration

Exactly 20 years ago, on May 1, 2004, a historic enlargement of the European Union came into force. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Cyprus became member states, marking the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Europe. This fifth round of enlargement marked a milestone for the countries involved and a significant change for Austria, as Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber and the Austrian Society for European Politics emphasize.

May 5, 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

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

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

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

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

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

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'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

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

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

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

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

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

Italy's Giorgia Meloni Advocates Development and Autonomy for South Tyrol

In a move to strengthen the autonomy and development of northern Italy, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni signed agreements with the autonomous provinces of Trento and Bolzano. The ceremonies, which took place in the respective provincial capitals, marked a decisive moment for the regions, which historically enjoyed a special autonomy within Italy.

March 12, 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

Future of EU Enlargement Discussed in Vienna: Unified Vision Required

An event in Vienna, organized by the ERSTE Foundation in cooperation with the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), focused on the debate about the future of EU enlargement. Under the title "Beyond Catch-27: How to make EU enlargement work?", leading experts from various fields gathered to discuss the challenges and opportunities of integrating new member states into the European Union.

March 7, 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

Austria and Italy Chief Diplomats Visit Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Foreign Ministers of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg, and Italy, Antonio Tajani, undertook a joint trip to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to support the country in its efforts to join the EU. This trip underlines the continued commitment of the European Union, in particular Austria and Italy, to the integration of the Western Balkans into the EU.

March 5, 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

Vienna Hosts Meetings for Belarusian Opposition Leader

In a diplomatic engagement, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg welcomed Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the Belarusian opposition leader, for a pivotal discussion in Vienna. This meeting, which took place within the framework of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, brought the key figure of the Belarusian opposition to Vienna to address the OSCE and the European Community under the symbolic presence of the Austrian and EU flags.

February 28, 2024

Two Years of War in Ukraine: Solidarity and demands for peace from the international community in Vienna

Two years after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the international community remains alarmed and united in its support for Ukraine. The ongoing violence against civilians, including children, and Russia's violation of international human rights norms have sparked concern and outrage around the world. The OSCE and international representatives have spoken out strongly, calling for an end to the war.

February 26, 2024

Increased Security Cooperation Between Austria and Romania

In a sign of solidarity and joint commitment to peace and security in Europe, Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner received her Romanian counterpart Angel Tîlvăr for bilateral talks in Vienna.

February 25, 2024

EU Strengthens Multilateral Diplomacy in Vienna Amid Global Challenges

In a move to bolster multilateral diplomacy and cooperation, the Ambassadors to the Political and Security Committee (PSC) of the Council of the European Union embarked on a significant visit to Vienna. This visit underscores the European Union's aspirations to strengthen its role in the global multilateral and security order, particularly at a time when the world is grappling with multiple crises.

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

Vienna Selected as European Capital of Democracy 2024/25

Vienna, the Austrian capital, will hold the prestigious title of "European Capital of Democracy" for one year from October 2024. This award follows a decision by a Europe-wide online vote, in which Vienna prevailed against cities such as Bratislava, Leipzig, Gdansk, and Izmir. The awarding of the title, which was previously held by Barcelona, was initiated by the non-profit organization European Capital of Democracy.

February 20, 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

Austria's Foreign Minister Schallenberg Criticizes Italy's Transit Lawsuit

Austria's Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has sharply criticized Italy after the country decided to take legal action against Austria's Alpine transit regulations before the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

February 17, 2024

EU House in Vienna Introduces New Environmental Standards

At a solemn ceremony, the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Othmar Karas, and Wolfgang Bogensberger, Chief Executive Officer of the Commission's Representation in Austria, unveiled the EMAS environmental certification plaque for the European Union House at Vienna.

February 12, 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

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

Exciting Race for EU Mandates: Austria's Parties in Starting Position

Austria's political landscape is gearing up for an exciting election year, starting with the election of EU representatives in June. The Neos were recently the last of the parliamentary parties to complete their list of candidates and their election program, marking the official start of preparations for the EU elections. Despite this great start to the campaign, the rise of right-wing populist parties in Europe and the troubled relations between the EU and Russia will make the EU elections even more complicated.

January 31, 2024