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

Austrian Has Lowest Unemployment Rate in EU

Euro area unemployment rate at 10.3%, EU27 at 9.8%. Austria ranks first with 4.0%. Regarding youth unemployment, only the German unemployment rate is lower.

January 7, 2012

Hungary Becomes Fundamental Risk Factor for Austrian Banks

Over the last weeks, fears of a Hungarian bankruptcy grew drastically. The Hungarian Forint has reached a new record low.

January 5, 2012

Tannpapier Fears For its Existence

The Austrian manufacturer of cigarette papers suffers from the tightening of the EU-tobacco-directive.

December 13, 2011

Austria Fifth Richest Country in EU

GDP per capita in the Member States ranged from 44% to 271% of the EU27 average in 2010. Austria´s figure amounts to 126%.

December 13, 2011

Austria’s Unemployment Rate Is the Lowest in the EU

The EU27 unemployment rate was 9.8% in October, compared with 9.7% in September 2011 and 9.6% in October 2010

November 30, 2011

Austrian Minister of Economics Criticizes Hungary

On the occasion of a bilateral meeting between the Hungarian and the Austrian Minister of Economics Reinhold Mitterlehner repeated his critics regarding Hungarian foreign currency loans.

November 21, 2011

Uniqa Expects Loss of € 300m

The Austrian insurance group is writing down all of its Greek government bonds at fair value in the third quarter and will therefore not break even in profit on ordinary activities as originally anticipated.

November 3, 2011

Austria Keeps Lowest Unemployment Rate in EU

The EU27 unemployment rate was 9.7% in September 2011, compared with 9.6% in August4. It was 9.6% in September 2010. Austria leads the official statistics.

October 31, 2011

„Austria´s Triple A Not in Danger“

For the Austrian Minister of Finance, Maria Fekter, the status of the domestic economy is “well prepared”.

October 29, 2011

EU Calls for Opening of Labor Markets to Romanians and Bulgarians

The European Parliament wants a solution by the end of 2011 and does not see any negative effects on social welfare systems.

October 27, 2011

Majority of Austrians Opposed to EU Rescue Package

850 respondents were asked their opinion before Wednesday’s summit meeting. 71% believe that the package is disadvantageous for Austria.

October 27, 2011

European Banking Authority: Austrian Banks Need € 2.9bn

Banks are required to establish a buffer such that the Core Tier 1 capital ratio reaches 9%. A major part of the capital needs is attributable to Volksbank Group.

October 27, 2011

Austrian Railways to be Widened

The EU Commission declares the Austrian South Axis to be strategically important.

October 19, 2011

Austria Ranks Third in EU Productivity Study

The report points out structural weaknesses and suggests more effective public spending in the fields of education, research and innovation.

October 14, 2011

OMV Promotes Nabucco Project Abroad

The Austrian oil corporation OMV pushes the gas pipeline project Nabucco in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan.

October 11, 2011

Slight Increase in Unemployment

Austria´s unemployment grew by 1.9% in September 2011. The main reason is the lower number of trainings.

October 1, 2011

Intercell: EU Invests € 30m in Research Program

The Austrian pharmaceutical company will receive co-funding for a collaborative research project from the European Union.

September 29, 2011

Cartel Suspicions Against OMV

The Commission of the EU suspects ten gas companies of market abuse. The Austrian OMV wants to cooperate with the authorities.

September 27, 2011

Austria´s Triple A „Not Endangered“

From a global view, 18 countries have a “AAA-status”. The current debt crisis makes market observers nervous.

September 26, 2011

Austria Considers Lawsuit Against Hungary

The Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Michael Spindelegger (ÖVP) threatens Hungary to file a lawsuit at the European Court of Justice. Hungary plans to stress banks massively.

September 12, 2011

Saloon Talks in Polish Ambassy: „Europe Needs New Leadership“

In the Polish Ambassy in Vienna, the former Prime Ministers of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski and Austria, Wolfgang Schüssel, talked about their vision for the European Union.

September 8, 2011

Agrana Raises Sugar Price Drastically

The Austrian sugar and starch company confirmed that the sugar price will rise significantly by the beginning of October. This is due to the “world market price”, the company stated.

September 6, 2011

Austrian Foreign Trade Rising Significantly

January to June 2011: Austrian imports rose by almost 19%, Austrian exports increased by more than 17%

September 6, 2011

Austria Confirms Top Ranking in EU Unemployment Statistics

The Austrian unemployment rate continued to decline in July. It dropped to 3.7% from 3.9% in June.

August 31, 2011

OMV Affected by Sanctions against Syria

The Austrian oil and gas company does not have a local production but buys 7% of its oil supplies from the Arabic country.

August 29, 2011

“Austria Was Boosted by EU Accession, Euro and Opening to Eastern Europe”

Bank Austria analyzed the development of Austria since the EU accession in 1995. It concluded that the economy has taken full advantage of the opportunities offered by the changes.

July 28, 2011

voestalpine Sues EU Over Plans for Carbon Emissions

The Austrian steel company and four German competitors filed a lawsuit against the EU. They argue that CO2 emission targets are unrealistic and unachievable.

July 21, 2011

Stress Test: Erste Group and Raiffeisen Passed, Volksbank Failed

Volksbanken Group is the only Austrian bank that failed the stress test. Taking into account the measures that are currently being implemented, the core tier I ratio would be above the benchmark.

July 15, 2011

Volksbanken Group Speeds Up Sale of VBI

In the face of the looming negative result of the stress test, the Austrian bank is trying to conclude negotiations with Russian Sberbank.

July 13, 2011

European Stress Test Results to Be Published on July 15

The test performance of 91 participating banks will be available next week. According to Moody’s, Austrian Volksbanken AG is at risk of failing the test.

July 8, 2011

Wilhelm Molterer Appointed Vice-President of the EIB

The former Austrian Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister will start his new job as Vice-President of the European Union’s bank on 1 July.

June 30, 2011

Increase in Austrian Electricity Price below EU Average

Electricity and gas are relatively expensive in Austria compared to other EU countries. The electricity price rose by 1.1% in 2009/10.

June 29, 2011

Austria in the Upper Third of Comparative Price Levels across Europe

Austria recorded the eighth highest price level among the 27 EU member countries. Food and energy were found to be the most expensive segments in the country as compared to European prices.

June 28, 2011

Austrians Support Aid for Greece

The majority of the Austrian population does not want to let Greece down. 55% see the common currency at risk.

June 22, 2011

Austrian Financial Sector Stable – Remaining Challenges in Particular Business Segments

Stress test results show Austria’s banks to be more resistant to risks than in 2010 – Boosting equity remains on the agenda nevertheless.

June 21, 2011

EU Commission Blocks OMV’s Deal with Gazprom

The Austrian oil and gas company does not get its desired Russian partner as the EU Commission has rejected a share transaction between the two companies.

June 20, 2011

Patent Protection to Become Cheaper

In Europe patent protection is currently ten times more expensive than in the US or Japan. Austria will participate in an EU-wide cooperation which will reduce the cost significantly.

June 20, 2011

Leitl: "Reforms, Despite the Positive economic Outlook Should Not Be Forgotten"

Spring forecast by the EU Commission: Clearly improved growth prospects for Austria and the European Union

May 14, 2011

Austria´s Economy Performed Better than EU-average During Crisis

The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies (wiiw) has just published a study, which quantifies trade-related transmission mechanisms of the global drop in investment demand and output to recession in Austria.

April 28, 2011

"Austria has Lost its Chance"

The labor market opening of Austria for the more recent EU member states comes too late, according to the manufacturing industry.

April 27, 2011

New High for Austria´s New Indebtedness

Austria´s budget deficit for 2010 is at 4.6%, which is the highest one in the last 15 years. However, the average of EU-countries is even higher.

April 27, 2011

Shipping on the Danube is Far Below its Potential

Capacities are only being utilized in modest proportions on Austria’s main waterway. Investments in expansion would be necessary.

April 23, 2011

"Austria Has a Historical Chance to Become Europe’s Logistics Hub"

Sources from the transport industry consider that Austria offers potentials, mainly in the Danube and rail traffic.

April 16, 2011

ÖBB Promote Construction of the Brenner Tunnel

After the ÖBB detached themselves from the financing of the Brenner tunnel in February, an agreement was reached with the Ministry of Finance.

April 14, 2011

Austria's Labor Costs above EU Average

An hour of work costs an Austrian employer an average € 28.00 - six euro more than the EU average.

April 13, 2011

No Rush Expected on the Labor Market after the End of the Transitional Periods

After 30 April 2011, an additional access to the Austrian labor market of about 11,500-16,500 people annually from Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia is expected.

April 12, 2011

ÖVAG Participates in the Stress Test

Unlike last year, the Austrian Volksbanken group (ÖVAG) is to participate in the EU-wide stress testing of banks. 5% equity is assumed as lower limit.

April 9, 2011

Austria’s Exposure to Portugal: € 433m

France is clearly the larges creditor of the troubled country. Portugal owes Austria € 433m.

April 8, 2011

Leitl: "Austria is Very Well Positioned for the Opening of the Labor Market"

Experts estimate immigration potential to be between 15,000 to 25,000 people; gains from migration for Austria, as from 1 May, about € 900m.

April 8, 2011

Austrian National Bank Expects Tougher "Stress Tests"

The EU-wide bank stress tests planned for 2012 should turn out to be more rigorous, according to the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB).

March 19, 2011