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Austria - European Union Political News

Soros University Leaves Budapest in Favor of Vienna

In Hungary, the Central European University (CEU) has faced massive hostility. As a consequence, the location will be relocated to Vienna. Michael Ignatieff, the rector of CEU, announced this week in Budapest that the university is finally moving: "This is a dark day for freedom in Hungary, and it's a dark day for academic freedom." In Vienna, negotiations are still underway on a suitable building for interim use from 2019. By 2023, the university is to move permanently to the grounds of the Otto Wagner Hospital.

December 6, 2018

What Brexit Means for Austrian Federal Provinces

The economic links between the Austrian provinces and the United Kingdom show that the withdrawal will not only be disadvantageous for the UK, but will also leave its mark on Austria's economy. According to a chart of the Thinktank Agenda Austria, the Austrian federal states whose exports will be hardest hit by the UK's departure are Upper Austria and Styria.

November 29, 2018

How to Eliminate Violence against Women?

In context with the UN-sponsored campaign "International Day for the elimination of violence against women", there are various initiatives against violence against women not only at the UN, but also in Brussels and Vienna. Federica Mogherini announced that the EU has decided to allocate an additional €5 million to support the projects of Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege. And the Austrian Foreign Ministry, together with the Austrian Integration Fund, is participating in the campaign "16 days against violence against women".

November 26, 2018

Sebastian Kurz: EU and Switzerland to Intensify Relations Further

Federal Chancellor Kurz held a working meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset in Bern. The meeting focused on, among other topics, an assessment of Brexit, the Western Balkans, the nuclear agreement with Iran, relations with Russia and the priorities of the Austrian EU Presidency.

November 22, 2018

Western Balkans - No Reconciliation in Kosovo Conflict

Austrian Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz visited Serbia and Kosovo during a trip to the Western Balkans. Since the last clash between the two heads of state Vučić and Thaçi in September, the talks have been suspended there. The EU should continue to support the search for a solution to the Kosovo conflict.

November 7, 2018

Setback for the UN - Austria Won't Sign Global Migration Pact

Austria will follow the US and Hungary in backing out of a United Nations pact on migration (Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration) over concerns that it will blur the line between illegal and legal migration.

October 31, 2018

Japan-Austria Relations - Kurz Met Shinzo Abe

During the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Brussels, Mr. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, and Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met for bilateral talks. The meeting focused on the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Austria next year, the new tax convention between Japan and Austria, the Japan-European Union (EU) relations and the situation in North Korea.

October 30, 2018

Eurasian Economic Union vs. European Union - Perspectives and Limits

At Lansky, Ganzger + Partner, at the meeting room of the Austrian-Kazakh Society (ÖKG - Österreichisch-Kasachische Gesellschaft), a number of prominent participants met for a panel discussion to explore the relationship between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, EEU), to which Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia belong, and the European Union (EU) entitled "The Eurasian Economic Union and the EU - Perspectives and Limits of a Partnership". The conference was hosted by the Research Centre for Eurasian Studies (EURAS), the Austrian-Kazakh Society (ÖKG - Österreichisch-Kasachische Gesellschaft) and the Austrian-Belarusian Society (ÖWG - Österreichisch-Weißrussische Gesellschaft).

October 30, 2018

China, the Rising Great Power of the 21st Century and the Austrians

At the Kreisky Forum, Austrian China experts (Schweisgut, Löw, Giner-Reichl, Witt-Löw) discussed the rising great power of the 21st century.

October 22, 2018

UK Nationals Living in Austria Preparing for Brexit

The British Embassy in Vienna invites all British Nationals living in Austria to a series of information events throughout the country to prepare them for BREXIT.

October 22, 2018

Kurz Met Bill Gates: "He is a Source of Inspiration"

Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz met billionaire and Microsoft founder Bill Gates at the EU summit in Brussels. Gates was in Brussels this week to create a pilot fund that will invest €100 million in European companies working to stop climate change.

October 19, 2018

The Western Balkans: Resolving Outstanding Issues between Belgrade and Pristina Prerequisite for Serbia's Accession to the EU

As international and local pressure mounts on Belgrade and Pristina to define their relations with an agreement on normalization, the official Austrian visit to the Republic of Serbia as part of an economic and cultural delegation headed by Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen focused on bilateral economic relations, Serbia's EU perspective and the Belgrade-Priština Dialogue.

October 18, 2018

Vietnam to Strengthen Relations with Austria and the EU

The Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc pays a visit to Vienna in the run-up to the Brussels ASEM Summit between the EU and Asian states.

October 16, 2018

Karin Kneissl at the Foreign Affairs Council - Khashoggi, Libya, Venezuela and the Eastern Partnership

Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl met with Federica Mogherini and the other EU Foreign Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg to discuss the situation in Libya, migration issues, the EU's Eastern Partnership, and the case of the missing Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

October 16, 2018

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

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

Danube Region Business Forum - Infrastructure and Its Implications on Business in CEE and SEE

The Danube Region is one of the traditionally important markets for Central European regions and companies. However, the infrastructure of this region does not yet meet the requirements of the economy. The 8th Danube Region Business Forum will take place on 9 October 2018 at the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber in Vienna. The aim of the forum is to ensure that the infrastructural quality and cooperations in the region meet the requirements of the economy.

October 3, 2018

Nuclear Controversy: Iran Seeking Austria's Support

Austria's EU Presidency, the future of the nuclear agreement and the desire to strengthen bilateral economic and cultural exchange were the focus of a visit by Iranian parliamentarians to the Austrian Parliament.

September 25, 2018

Generation Next - Europe's Futures Conference

The conference is the first event of the Future of Europe Task Force meetings, which are to be held in Austria and Romania during their respective Presidency in the Council of the EU. The gathering seeks solutions and encourages action to face the upcoming challenges both to the European Union and to the regions of Central and South East Europe.

September 14, 2018

Meet the Minister in Charge for Austria's Presidency of the Council of the EU: Gernot Blümel

During Austria's EU Council Presidency, the name Gernot Blümel, the Federal Minister responsible not only for the EU but also for art, culture and media, will be mentioned time and again. Blümel is also chairmen of the Vienna ÖVP and a close confidant of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. His ministry is even physically integrated into the Federal Chancellery.

June 5, 2018

Austria Prepares for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union: ‘A Europe that protects’

On 1 July 2018 Austria takes over the EU Presidency for six months. The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union will focus on three topics: the fight against illegal migration, digitalisation and stability in the neighbourhood.

June 5, 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

The Future of the EU: Europe Day Is To Be Given Greater Importance

On Europe Day, one pupil from each member state of the European Union came to the Hofburg for a discussion. More political education in schools and a more comprehensive climate policy are their main demands. "We are 20 percent of the population, but 100 percent of the future."

May 11, 2018

New Forum for Deepening German-Austrian Relations: Österreichisch-Deutsches Länderforum

Recently the Österreichisch-Deutsches Länderforum e.V. was founded in Vienna by Dr. Harald Wögerbauer with the intention of offering a platform for deepening German-Austrian relations.

May 2, 2018

The Window of Opportunity for the Western Balkans

Will the Western Balkan countries be able to take advantage of the moment and will it bring the year 2018 closer to the European Union? In February 2018, a new Enlargement Strategy was presented in Strasbourg by the EU Commission. Bulgaria, currently having the Presidency of the Council of the EU, will organize a major Balkan’s Summit in May. Austria, for a long time one of the most prominent promoters of the EU Enlargement for the Western Balkans and a country deeply intertwined with the region, will assume the EU presidency in the second half of 2018. This year represents one of the crucial moments for enlargement as major steps need to be undertaken to reach the goal of making the enlargement perspective realistic for 2025.

April 26, 2018

Goals for Austria's Presidency of the Council of the European Union

On 1 July 2018, Austria will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from Bulgaria. During its Presidency of the Council of the European Union (1 July to 31 December 2018), guided by the motto "A Europe that protects", Austria will focus on three key areas: security and the fight against illegal migration, retaining competitiveness through digitalisation, and stability in the neighbouring regions (particularly the accession of the Western Balkans to the EU).

April 25, 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

Austria's Role in Brussels' Syria Conference Rather Modest

Austria's recent efforts regarding Syria to make only 4 million additional euros available on the one hand, and Lawrow's clear rejection of Austria's possible mediation role in the Syrian conflict on the other, cannot be classified as a success. Rather than Vienna, the Brussels Conference will seek to resume the UN peace talks in Geneva.

April 24, 2018

Vienna - Moscow: Maintaining All Communication Channels Is Crucial

All the evidence suggests that Russia is to blame for the poison attack on former double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury. To date, 19 EU countries and 7 non-EU countries have expelled more than 150 diplomats. By deciding not to expel Russian diplomats, Austria is opposing most of its partner countries.

March 27, 2018

Jens Weidmann Demands in Vienna an End to Massive Bond-Buying Program

The head of Deutsche Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, visits Vienna to receive the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold (Grosses Goldenes Ehrenzeichen) from Finance Minister Hartwig Löger. In his speech he called for a rapid end to bond purchases by the European Central Bank (ECB).

March 26, 2018

Analysis: Vienna's 900 Years of Close Ties With Former Tax Haven Liechtenstein

Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen visited the Principality of Liechtenstein during a state visit to Vaduz. After 14 months, he has finally visited the last of Austria's neighbouring countries. The state was known as a tax haven until November 2013. The Liechtenstein tax affair and offshore leaks have contributed to the neighbouring country signing an international agreement to prevent tax evasion.

March 22, 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

Chancellor Kurz Visits President Putin: "The situation in Syria is dramatic"

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz traveled to Moscow to meet Vladimir Putin. The focus of the trip was a working meeting with the Russian President, with whom Kurz discussed, among other things, the bilateral relations of both countries, the relationship between Russia and the EU, the Ukraine conflict and the current situation in Syria.

February 28, 2018

The Western Balkans Remain a Priority of Austrian Foreign Policy

Because of a common history and the tradition of political, cultural and economic relations, Austrian foreign policy has always attached particular importance to the Western Balkans. The primary goal of Austrian foreign policy is to support the transformation of the Western Balkans area into a zone of stability. From the Austrian perspective there is only one option for the Western Balkans: a full European integration of the region. However, the political commitment from the regions' leaders is expected.

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

Western Balkans Summit was Held in Paris

Following the 2014 Western Balkans Summit in Berlin and the Vienna Western Balkans Summit of August 2015, the third Western Balkans Summit was held in Paris in the context of the ‘Berlin Process’. More than 500,000 of the people with migration background who live in Austria are from the region. Austrian companies have hundreds of branches or subsidiaries in the Western Balkans, which clearly illustrates the very close economic relations.

July 8, 2016

Brexit and Its Consequences for Austria

Like any other economy within the euro area, Austria will also be confronted with challenges following the Brexit vote, according to the latest analysis by RBI Research analysts. However, the economic momentum should not experience any noticeable weakening, even though one should expect considerable declines in exports to the United Kingdom.

July 1, 2016

CESEE Outlook: Modest Recovery - EU is Obstacle to Growth – BREXIT Poses Uncertainties

According to the latest prognosis of the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, the countries of Central, East and Southeast Europe (CESEE) will have a trend growth rate of up to 3% in the period of 2016-2018. This is 1-1½ percentage points higher than average growth in the eurozone. Consumption will be the main growth driver. The Austrian economy is still benefiting from its economic ties with the region. Direct effects of BREXIT on the region will be limited – indirect effects for the European economy as a whole may be considerable.

June 29, 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

What Brexit Means for Austria: Mitterlehner, Kurz, Fiat Steyr

Mitterlehner hopes that the referendum will end in Britain staying in the EU. Kurz says, that Brexit would be terrible. Fiat could relocate production of agriculture and construction machine maker CNH (Case New Holland) from UK to Steyr in case of Brexit.

June 20, 2016

20 Years Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): Ministerial Meeting at VIC

Marking the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), a Ministerial Meeting was held at Vienna International Center. Hosting some 40 international organizations, Austria is a hub for the promotion of peace, safety and security, sustainable development and the fight against crime, drug abuse and terrorism.

June 20, 2016

Central European Initiative Discusses Refugee Crisis in Banja Luka

Foreign Ministers of the 18 member states of the Central European Initiative (CEI) met in Bosnia Herzegovina, which holds the initiative’s annual rotating Chairmanship this year. Discussions mainly focused on the refugee crisis and potential solutions.

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

Mogherini Visits Vienna to Discusses Migration and Nuclear Disarmament Issues with Kurz

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini met with Sebastian Kurz in the margins of the CTBT Ministerial in Vienna on 13 June. Mogherini und Kurz stressed their support for the entry into force of the CTBT and the importance of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

June 13, 2016

The Western Balkans Conference Which Led to Row Over Worsening Refugee Crisis

Convened on the initiative of Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and Austrian Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the Western Balkans conference “Managing Migration Together” was held at the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Vienna. 18 foreign and interior ministers from the Western Balkans attended the conference. The participants included the foreign and interior ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

February 26, 2016

Greece Recalls Ambassador to Vienna in Row over Worsening Migrant Issue

By decision of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Greece’s Ambassador to Vienna, H. E. Mrs. Chryssoula Aliferi, is being called to Athens for consultations aimed at "safeguarding the relations" between the states and peoples of Greece and Austria.

February 25, 2016

Austrian Foreign Ministry Welcomes Completion of Next Phase of the Vienna Agreement with Iran

The Austrian Foreign Minister welcomed the successful completion of the preparatory phase for the implementation of the Vienna Agreement between the E3/EU+3 and Iran. He hopes that Iran will assume a constructive role in resolving regional conflicts.

January 19, 2016

EU to Crack Down on Postal Rip-Offs including Austrian Post

The FT reports that Brussels is preparing a regulatory crackdown against rip-off pricing by national postal operators on cross-border parcel deliveries. According to a study, cross-border parcel deliveries are often five times more expensive than identical trips on the domestic market. While the price of a standard 2 kg parcel delivery in Austria with the national postal operator is €4.44, to have that same parcel send to neighbouring Italy would cost €14. Sending the same parcel back from Italy to Austria will rise to €25. In order to connect the common market, the EU wants to develop the potential of e-commerce and to boost cross-border trade. According to the FT, a spokeswoman of the European Commission said that early next year the Commission will “launch measures to enhance price transparency and regulatory oversight” of the European parcel delivery market.

December 22, 2015