Austria - European Union Political News

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

African Union and European Union to Strengthen Cooperation on COVID-19

Representatives of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU), including Austrian Secretary-General for Foreign Affairs Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, recently met in Kigali, Rwanda. The COVID-19 pandemic, especially unequal vaccine distribution, was a central topic of discussion. Read more about the meeting and the effort to increase vaccine access around the globe.

October 29, 2021

Economic Diplomacy a la "ReFocus": Connecting Diplomatic Representatives with Austria's Business Community

Diplomatic representatives in Austria met with members of the Austrian business community as part of the "ReFocus Austria" government initiative aimed at promoting Austrian companies abroad and Austria as a business location. The main focus of this event was opportunities in the "green economy." Read more about this event and "ReFocus Austria."

October 27, 2021

Vienna Hosts "Central 5" Foreign Ministers

The foreign ministers of Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Austria, which make up the informal "Central 5" (C5) forum, recently met at the Albertina in Vienna. Read about the meeting, what Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Linhart said, and watch the full joint press conference.

October 26, 2021

Smart Borders: Austrian Green Light for Implementation of EU-wide Entry/Exit System

Austria has passed a law to help implement the EU-wide entry/exit system (EES) as stipulated in the EU's "Smart Borders Package." Read more about the new law and what it means for border controls and law enforcement cooperation in the EU.

October 25, 2021

Austria Opposes Further Expansion of Hungarian Nuclear Power Plant Paks II

All five Austrian parliamentary parties are opposed to the expansion of the Paks II Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary due to serious safety concerns. The Environment Committee in parliament has unanimously called on the government to take all possible actions to oppose its construction. Read why Austria considers the power plant's expansion dangerous.

October 25, 2021

President of the Republic of Moldova on State Visit to Austria

The President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, made her first official visit to Austria and met with President Van der Bellen. Read about the meeting between the two heads of state and what they discussed.

October 22, 2021

Austria's Strategy for the Upcoming European Council Meeting

Ahead of the European Council meeting in Brussels, Austrian Chancellor Schallenberg, EU Minister Edtstadler, and members of parliament laid out Austria's strategy for the meeting. Read their stances on the key issues they plan to raise in Brussels.

October 22, 2021

Call for Solidarity for China Sanctioned States Including Taiwan

A motion for a resolution was filed in the Austrian Parliament calling for the Austrian government to support countries, such as Taiwan, sanctioned by China for supporting democracy, human rights, and other global values. Read about the motion and the reasoning behind it.

October 21, 2021

Foreign Minister Linhart's Inaugural Visit to the EU Foreign Affairs Council

Foreign Minister Linhart recently traveled to Luxembourg for his first meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council. In a meeting with the other foreign ministers from the EU, they discussed various issues, including the EU's Eastern Partnership and the war in Ethiopia. Linhart also met with Libyan Foreign Minister Najla El Mangoush during his visit. Read about Linhart's trip and what was discussed in the meetings, and watch Linhart's interview outside the event.

October 19, 2021

Western Balkans: First Foreign Trip of the New Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Linhart

Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Linhart went on his first trip abroad since becoming the foreign minister. Linhart traveled to the Western Balkan state of Bosnia and Herzegovina to meet with members of the international presence, business leaders, and various politicians, including his Bosnian counterpart Bisera Turković. Read more about his trip.

October 15, 2021

Schallenberg's First Foreign Trip as Austrian Chancellor

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council President Charles Michel recently met for talks in Brussels with Chancellor Schallenberg on his first foreign trip since being appointed chancellor. Read about the chancellor's trip, his talks with the two leaders, and a Twitter error involving former Chancellor Kurz.

October 15, 2021

EU Justice Commissioner Reynders and Justice Minister Zadić Share Concerns Over Rule of Law in Poland

The EU Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, was hosted by Austrian Minister of Justice Alma Zadić for a working meeting in Vienna. The two discussed various issues, including their shared concern regarding the rule of law following the Polish Constitutional Court's ruling on the primacy of national law over EU law. Read about their meeting and the increased tensions surrounding the Polish court's decision.

October 12, 2021

Antisemitic Vandalism at Auschwitz-Birkenau Highlights Alarming Trend

One day after an Austrian delegation, including President Van der Bellen, Foreign Minister Schallenberg, and EU Minister Edtstadler spoke at the opening of the new Austrian exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial, the museum reported antisemitic vandalism at the camp. The shocking incident underscores a larger trend of antisemitism in Europe and around the world. Read more about the incident, the trend of antisemitism, and what is being done to combat it.

October 7, 2021

Polish-Austrian Relations: Official Visit and Business Forum in Warsaw

Polish President Andrzej Duda hosted Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen in Warsaw for the first official visit of an Austrian President in Poland since 2009. The two had a meeting and held a joint press conference in which they discussed various issues, including Poland's current issues with the EU. Van der Bellen also attended an economic forum and met with other Polish leaders. Read more about the details of the President's visit to Poland.

October 6, 2021

EU Support to Western Balkans as Repulsion against China and Turkey

European heads of state and government that make up the European Council, including Chancellor Kurz, met in Slovenia for informal talks and the Western Balkans Summit. In addition to other issues, the leaders discussed the accession of Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Kosovo to the EU. Read more about what Kurz and the EU said about the enlargement process.

October 6, 2021

Multilateralism at the UN General Assembly: Kurz and Schallenberg in NYC

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Foreign Minister Schallenberg are in New York for the 76th United Nations General Assembly. Their trip includes meetings with various delegations, with an emphasis on the situation in Afghanistan and the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the pair, along with President Van der Bellen, will meet for talks with UN Secretary-General Antońio Guterres. Chancellor Kurz will also address the Council on Foreign Relations and Schallenberg will deliver a speech to the General Assembly. Read more about the details of their trip.

September 21, 2021

Minister for European Affairs: The Fight against Migration as a Means of Pressure on the EU

Austrian Minister for European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler embarked on a multi-country trip to Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, and Romania. The central topic of discussion is the increasing migratory pressure on the EU’s external borders, especially from Afghanistan and Belarus. Minister Edtstadler emphasized the need for border security at the EU's external borders and for targeted sanctions on Alexander Lukashenko's regime.

September 15, 2021

Forum Alpbach: Reaffirming the Importance of the Conference on the Future of Europe

The EU ministers from five member states signed the "Alpbach Declaration on the Future of Europe" at the European Forum Alpbach. The five ministers were Judit Varga from Hungary, Thomas Byrne from Ireland, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis from Greece, Juan González-Barba from Spain, and Karoline Edtstadler from Austria. The declaration highlights the necessity for cooperation and dialogue to ensure that the EU has a successful future.

September 7, 2021

Vučić Hosted Kurz: The "Fight Against Illegal Migration"

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić recently received Chancellor Kurz in Belgrade. The two of them spoke about illegal migration, especially regarding the refugees fleeing from Afghanistan. Other topics of discussion included bilateral relations and the EU rapprochement process. Kurz also spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić about EU accession for the Western Balkans.

September 7, 2021

Schallenberg on Afghanistan: "Clear advance of mistrust toward the Taliban"

The Gymnich Meeting of EU foreign ministers recently took place in Slovenia. One of the main issues discussed during the two days of meetings was the situation in Afghanistan and how to deal with the Taliban going forward. Alexander Schallenberg expressed that there is a deep mistrust of the Taliban, but technical cooperation with them is currently necessary. Read more about what Schallenberg said and watch the video of him taking questions from the press.

September 7, 2021

Western Balkans: Further Austrian Corona Solidarity Campaign for all Six States

The final share of promised COVID-19 vaccines was delivered to Bosnia and Herzegovina, ending an EU solidarity campaign led by Austria. A total of 651,000 COVID-19 vaccines from the manufacturer BioNTech/Pfizer were provided to the six Western Balkan states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

August 30, 2021

Lithuania and Austria Support New Sanctions against Belarus

Lithuania and Austria have indicated that they are in favor of putting new sanctions on Belarus in response to the significant increase in illegal border crossings on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis and Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė hosted their Austrian counterparts Alexander Schallenberg and Karl Nehammer at the border to discuss the ongoing situation.

August 26, 2021

Lavrov in Vienna: Tensions Following the Establishment of the Crimea Platform

In the first official bilateral visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Vienna since 2009, Sergey Lavrov met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. The working talks included tense issues like the annexation of Crimea, human rights in Russia, Afghanistan, and the refugees on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. However, they all expressed interest in continued dialogue and finding areas for cooperation between Austria, the EU, and Russia.

August 26, 2021

Van der Bellen Appeals for the Acceptance of Afghans

In his speech at the opening of the European Forum Alpbach (EFA) with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen appealed for the acceptance of refugees from Afghanistan. Despite Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's concerns about accepting refugees, the president argued that there is a legal, moral and political obligation for the EU to offer protection to those forced to leave their country.

August 25, 2021

Founding Event of the Crimea Platform: "Destabilization of Ukraine weakens the security of us all"

Amid talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shymal on the eve of Ukrainian Independence Day, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said International law is and remains a red line that must not be crossed.

August 24, 2021

Switzerland and Austria Step Up Fight Against Illegal Migration

Swiss Justice and Police Minister Karin Maria Keller-Sutter met Interior Minister Karl Nehammer to discuss the current developments in Afghanistan as well as Switzerland's accession to the migration platform.

August 23, 2021

Schallenberg on Afghanistan: "Particularly close coordination between the EU partners is essential."

Before a virtual meeting of EU foreign ministers, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg commented on the escalating events surrounding the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. He stressed the necessity for cooperation among the EU member states to help deal with the situation.

August 20, 2021

Bulgarian President Meets With Van der Bellen in Salzburg

Bulgarian President Rumen Radev recently met with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen at the Salzburg Festival. The two discussed various issues, including climate change, migration, the Western Balkans and more. Read more about their meeting.

August 2, 2021

Von der Leyen Meets With Alexander Schallenberg and Karoline Edtstadler

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Austrian Federal Minister for the EU and the Constitution Karoline Edtstadler at the Salzburg Festival.

July 27, 2021

The Central 5 (C5) Discusses COVID-19 in Czech Republic

Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok, Slovenian Foreign Minister Anže Logar, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek, and Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó, met with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg as part of the “Central 5” (C5) country group. Here they discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, EU enlargement, and more.

July 23, 2021

Von der Leyen and King Philippe Meet with Van der Bellen in Brussels

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Belgium's King Philippe each met with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on his latest trip to Brussels. Climate change was a key topic of discussion. Read what Van der Bellen had to say about it.

July 20, 2021

At Summit With Merkel, Kurz Reaffirms Support for Western Balkan EU Accession

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and other leaders for the Western Balkans Summit. Kurz expressed his full support for the six Western Balkan states Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Read what he said.

July 15, 2021

Austrian-Based EU Strategy for the Danube Region Celebrates Anniversary

The EU Strategy for the Danube Region celebrates its 10th anniversary by highlighting its importance and contribution to Europe. 14 countries with a population of around 115 million people make up one of the strongest economic forces on the European continent.

June 29, 2021

Kosovo's President Meets Van der Bellen in Vienna

Kosovo's President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu traveled to Vienna to meet with her Austrian counterpart Alexander Van der Bellen. The main topics of their discussion were the progress in the EU accession process and bilateral cooperation in various fields. Read more about the meeting below.

June 24, 2021

EU Holds First Accession Conference with Serbia and Montenegro

At the General Affairs Council, which precedes the grand European Council, Austrian Minister for European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler has once again spoken out in favor of including Serbia and Montenegro in the EU. Other topics were the relations with Switzerland and the controversial Hungarian "anti-pedophile" law. Read more below.

June 23, 2021

Schallenberg and EU Foreign Ministers Agree on Sanctions Against Belarus

At the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) the EU Foreign Ministers have agreed upon renewed and tightened sanctions against the Belarusian regime. Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg warns that the agreed measures must not hit the civil society. Read more below.

June 22, 2021

Von der Leyen Approves Austrian Economic Comeback in Vienna

During her visit to Vienna, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has delivered the good news that Austria is to receive EUR 3.5 billion worth of EU grants. The budget will be mainly available for investments and reforms in the areas of environmental and digital transformation.

June 22, 2021

Vienna Hosts Western Balkan Summit

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has invited political leaders from various Western Balkan countries to Vienna to discuss current issues on an European as well as on a bilateral level. Read more below to find out what was discussed.

June 21, 2021

Europa Forum Wachau: "Include Western Balkans in EU Programs"

At the 25th Europa Forum Wachau, Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg spoke out in favor of finding creative approaches to bind the Western Balkan states to the EU even before a possible EU accession.

June 16, 2021

GLOBSEC Forum in Slovakia: Heger and Kurz Demand Reforms in Exchange for Economic Aid

At a working meeting and at the GLOBSEC Forum in Bratislava, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz discussed, among other things, the importance of EU's reconstruction fund and how aid should be distributed. Read more below.

June 16, 2021

EU Sets Stage for Green Passport

The European Union has agreed on the legislation of an EU wide COVID digital certificate. The certificate should facilitate travel within Europe and increase cross-border movement as of July 1. Read more below.

June 15, 2021

Malta and Austria Demand Peace for Libya

At a bilateral meeting between the Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo and his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg in Malta, both politicians spoke out in favor of increased support for the Libyan population that has long suffered from the hostile situation in the North African country.

June 15, 2021

EU Commission Takes Legal Action Against Austria

The European Commission has taken legal action against Austria and other Member States that fail to comply with EU law. In the case of Austria, several allegations have been put forward. Read more about them below.

June 11, 2021

Austria's Demand for EU Accession of Western Balkans Finds EU Support

At a virtual conference with Foreign Ministers of Western Balkan countries and numerous EU Foreign Ministers, the latter ones vehemently supported the EU accession process of Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Read more below.

June 9, 2021

Steinmeier and Van der Bellen Demand European Cohesion

At a working meeting in Germany, Austria's President Alexander Van der Bellen and his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier discuss European unity and bilateral cooperation with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more below.

June 7, 2021

International Nightjet Connections to Vienna Back in Service: Now Also Amsterdam

Effective immediately, the Nightjets of Austrian Railways (ÖBB - Österreichische Bundesbahnen) are once again in operation. In addition to the 18 known night train connections, for the first time there is also a daily night train from Amsterdam via Linz to Vienna or via Munich to Innsbruck. Paris and Strasbourg are being planned.

May 31, 2021

EU Foreign Ministers Condemn Belarusian "Air Piracy"

At the informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers in Portugal, Austria's Alexander Schallenberg and his European counterparts condemned the actions took by the Belarusian regime to arrest an anti-government blogger.

May 31, 2021

Austria, Czech Republic and Slovenia Want EU Accession of North Macedonia and Albania

During their visits to North Macedonia and Albania, the Czech, Slovenian and Austrian Foreign Ministers once again spoke out in favor of a rapid EU accession process for the two Wester Balkan states.

May 25, 2021

Germany and Austria: "Current Incidents Demand Actions Against Anti-Semitism"

Austria's Minister for European Affairs Karoline Edtstadler has met with German Bundestag President Wolfgang Schäuble in Berlin to exchange views on the fight against anti-Semitism. Recent incidents had worried the German and Austrian politicians.

May 21, 2021

EU Countries Agree on Green Passport by July, Austria Plans it for June

The EU countries and EU Parliament have agreed on an Europe-wide "Green Passport" by July 1, while Austria intends to have its Green Entry Pass ready by the beginning of June. Can the Austrian solution be implemented in the EU-wide certificate? Find out below!

May 21, 2021