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Austria - European Union Political News

Only Full EU-Integration Can Stabilise the Western Balkans for a Lasting Time

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz commented on the European Commission’s progress reports, which were presented earlier this month: “Most of the Western Balkans countries’ progress on their way in direction of EU-membership is noticeable and positive. The Commission’s new methodology renders possible an improved analysis on the progress made in the respective countries in the last year. This creates a positive competition. The new progress reports also underscore that all candidate countries still have a lot of hard work before them and EU support towards this is essential. The current refugee crisis is no exception in this respect as it shows, how important the Western Balkans countries and Turkey are to Europe in tackling this particular challenge.”

November 18, 2015

Linhart: “Foreign Policy Should Focus on Stabilization of Neighbouring Regions”

“The European foreign policy must focus more of its attention on the neighborhood, the stabilization thereof – and in the case of the Western Balkans, their way towards the EU – has to be our European priority”, Secretary General for Austrian Foreign Affairs, Dr. Michael Linhart declared on the occasion of the 19th Europe Forum of the Austria Institute for Europe and Security Policy (AIES) in the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

November 18, 2015

Austria will Remain an Asylum Country with Tradition

Since 1945 more than two million refugees have come to Austria, whereby almost 700,000 have remained here - that is about 9 per cent of the total population of Austria. Every second refugee had a different mother tongue than German. The refugee crises occurred in a mysterious sequence, as every twelve years, large waves of refugees arrived in Austria: 1956, 1968, 1980 and 1992.

October 28, 2015

Recommendations from the EU to Help Austria Improve Its Economic Performance

The Austrian economy has stagnated since the second quarter of 2012. Energy prices have helped lower inflation, but core inflation is stable. The labour market has performed strongly, but challenges lie ahead. Fiscal consolidation has slowed down in 2014 due to the cost borne by the government for the financial sector, which translated into higher deficit and debt ratios. Despite a solid, but moderate current account surplus, Austria has suffered a pronounced loss in world trade market shares. While the economy is free of major imbalances, maintaining competitiveness and long term growth prospects requires constant attention and consistent policy efforts. The Commission has made four country-specific recommendations to Austria to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of public finances, taxation and pensions, labour market and education, services, and the financial sector.

October 26, 2015

Xi Jinping's Strategy Represents a Significant Threat to European Industry

AEGIS Europe, the manufacturing alliance of 30 European industry associations express skepticism at Chinese President Xi Jinping's remarks to the media during London visit. The alliance called into question Mr Xi's comments to the media about China's orientation towards a more open and transparent market.

October 21, 2015

How Can Exporters Benefit from the "Go-International Initiative" of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce?

Even in a challenging global economic environment, exports remain the driving force behind the Austrian economy. The go-international initiative of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce encourages companies to step across the border by offering advisory services, events and support, as well as making it easier for existing exporters to enter additional foreign markets.

October 19, 2015

CEE in the Autumn of 2015 is the New Safe Haven

The key conclusion of UniCredit’s CEE Quarterly 4Q 2015 is that the CEE region, despite its heterogeneity, looks better positioned than most other large emerging markets to cope with potential challenges. In particular they found that market volatility spiked in 3Q15, with the uncertainty surrounding the anticipated Fed rate hike augmented by growing worries about a “hard landing” in China.

September 25, 2015

Humanitarian Crisis: OSCE Can Be Important Platform for Co-Operation

OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier today met refugees and representatives of local aid organizations at the Vienna West railway station (Westbahnhof), where he was briefed by Austria’s Interior Ministry and the Vienna police about their operations.

September 24, 2015

InEquality: Economic Symposium at Forum Alpbach Launched

The Economic Symposium of the Forum Alpbach has been launched in the presence of business executives, politicians, students and the media. The core topic of this year's conference is InEquality.

September 2, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal: Joint Statement by Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister

The joint statement by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif calls on the world community "to support the implementation of this historic effort". "The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is a balanced deal that respects the interests of all sides. It is also complex, detailed and technical."

July 14, 2015

Iran Nuclear Deal: Historic Agreement in Vienna

The so-called P5+1 - the US, UK, France, China and Russia plus Germany and the EU have reached a "historic" deal with Iran on limiting Iranian nuclear activity in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions. The deal, known as the "Comprehensive Joint Plan of Action", was signed today in Vienna.

July 14, 2015

Historic Iran Nuclear Deal Likely to be Announced Early Tuesday

Officials negotiating in Vienna's Palais Coburg say nothing is confirmed, but a deal will possibly come in the early hours of the morning. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said an Iran nuclear deal would not be ready to be announced July 13, as China’s Foreign Minister urged the P5+1 and Iran to finalize the accord.

July 13, 2015

RBI: Grexit Still an Option

RBI analysts conclude in their latest risk analysis, that today’s summit agreement should not be taken as end to the risk of Grexit yet. If the agreement fails to clear the necessary parliamentary hurdles, the ECB could soon withdraw its support for Greek banks, forcing Greece out of the Euro. Even after a successful conclusion of negotiations the risk of Grexit could soon resurface: If the willingness of the Greek government to implement reforms declines again after the current pressure is reduced, todays crisis summit would be followed be new ones, whenever a new aid tranche has to be paid out.

July 13, 2015

How to Combat Human Trafficking Discussed in Vienna

Combating human trafficking along migration routes will be in focus at a high-level conference on 6-7 July in Vienna. The conference will draw attention to the impact of state migration policies on trafficking in human beings, the increasing risk of being trafficked during times of crisis, and the special vulnerability of unaccompanied minors on the move.

June 29, 2015

Foreign Minister Kurz Met His British Counterpart Philip Hammond in Vienna

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond met for talks with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz in Vienna - a discussion on reforms necessary to make the EU fit for the 21st century. Both foreign ministers "Agreed that EU-reform must cut regulation & support business."

June 12, 2015

Bilderberg 2015: Full List of All 133 Participants

The full list of all 133 attendees to the top secret Bilderberg Group conference 2015 has been released (see below). The Austrians participating are René Benko, Oscar Bronner, Heinz Fischer, Alfred Gusenbauer, Erich Hampel, Wolfgang Hesoun, Gerhard Roiss, Rudolf Scholten and Karl Sevelda.

June 12, 2015 · Updated: June 12, 2015; 17:45

The Bilderberg Group - Background and Criticism

The first Bilderberg conference dates back to May 1954, when it was held at the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek, Netherlands. Partly because of its working methods to ensure strict privacy, the Bilderberg Group has been criticised for its lack of transparency and accountability.

June 11, 2015

Bilderberg 2015: The "World Government" Meets in Austria

A select group of global elite is gathering today at the Interalpen-Hotel Tyrol in Telfs-Buchen, Austria. The 63rd Bilderberg conference is a super secret annual conference where they can discuss politics, economics and foreign policy freely. A total of around 140 participants from 22 countries have confirmed their attendance at the Bilderberg conference 2015. As ever, a diverse group of political leaders and experts from industry and finance have been invited. This year the list includes nine Austrians. Key talking points on the agenda include the Ukrainian crisis, Greece, Middle East and Terrorism (see detailed list below). Security is tight - participants as well as protesters and journalists will have to deal with the Austrian anti terror squad "Cobra". After 1979 it's the second time that the conference takes place in Austria.

June 11, 2015 · Updated: June 11, 2015; 19:00

Analysis: Austrian Economy Falls Behind Eurozone Average

The latest "Attractiveness Survey" from consultancy Ernst & Young Global Limited shows, that espite strong fundamentals, Austria’s economy lost some ground on the Eurozone average in 2014, with growth of just 0.4% compared with 0.9% for the Eurozone as a whole. This comparative weakness will also continue in 2015, with Austria’s GDP growth estimated at 1.1%, against 1.5% in the Eurozone. This is despite a boost from lower energy prices, quantitative easing from the European Central Bank (ECB) and a weaker euro.

June 1, 2015

EBRD Sees Mixed Outlook for CESEE Countries in 2015-16

The outlook for economies in central and south eastern Europe is improving on the back of eurozone monetary easing but prospects further to the east of the transition region have worsened, as the impact of Russia’s recession intensifies.

May 14, 2015

Business Indicator: Economic Activity Remains Sluggish - Revival Only in Course of Year

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The Austrian economy is making no headway at present after the mild improvement in the economic climate at the start of the year. The Bank Austria Business Indicator remained at exactly zero points in February after a modest increase in the previous month. The current economic situation is thus somewhat more favourable than towards the end of the previous year, but the local economy still lacks momentum as of March 2015.

April 1, 2015

International Jihadism Conference in Vienna: "Tackling Jihadism Together"

Ministers from Austria, the Western Balkans & Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos gathered in Vienna to tackle Jihadism. Austrian FM Kurz: "Tackling Jihadism is an urgent task for all of us - we're in this together!" Avramopoulos: "Need to transform common will into common action".

March 20, 2015

Quality of Living Rankings: Vienna Tops the List Again

Vienna remaines at the top of the 2015 Quality of Living Rankings, boasting the best quality of living for expatriates. In the top 5 there are two other European cities, Zurich (place 2) and Munich (place 4). Also Auckland (3rd) and Vancouver (5th) are among the top five cities.

March 4, 2015

Global Peace Index: Austria is Third Most Peaceful Country

The latest Global Peace Index analyses the state of peace around the world. It identifies the most and least peaceful countries, trends in violence and conflict, and calculates the economic impact of violence. The top three most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and Austria. Small and stable democracies make up the top ten most peaceful countries. New Zealand, Canada and Japan are the only non-European countries in the top ten.

March 4, 2015

Business Indicator: First Small Signs of Improvement in Austrian Economic Activity

Bank Austria has published its latest "Business Indicator" on the Austrian economy. The Indicator exits negative territory due to modest rise in January. Decline in oil price pushes average annual inflation down below 1 percent for 2015, injecting more momentum into private consumption. Growth forecast for 2015 raised to 0.9 percent.

February 20, 2015

List of National Days of the home countries of all foreign Missions and Delegations in Vienna, Austria

The Vindobona table below is an updated list of National Days of all nations, which belong to at least one of following categories: Foreign Missions and Delegations in Vienna, Austria; Diplomatic Corps and other representations in Austria; International Organizations in Vienna and Permanent Missions; Missions and Delegations to the OSCE.

February 11, 2015 · Updated: February 7, 2018; 08:12

Austria is Celebrating 60 Years of United Nations Membership in 2015

Austria became a member of the United Nations in 1955 and is celebrating 60 years of UN membership in 2015. 70 years ago, the United Nations were founded in San Francisco.

February 5, 2015

Holocaust Memorial Day: "European Jews again feeling anxious and uncertain about their future"

As people across the OSCE region commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, officials highlighted the importance for societies to stand firmly against the contemporary challenges of anti-Semitism, racism and other forms of intolerance.

January 28, 2015

Vienna Congress comsult 2015: "Power of Regions"

“Power of Regions“ is the topic of the Vienna Congress com•sult 2015 which is taking place today at Vienna's House of Industry. Distinguished participants from industry, politics and the business community such as F.W. de Klerk, Mohamed El Baradei, Author Benjamin R. Barber, Václav Klaus and Iain Begg are discussing the principle of regionality and its future in Europe.

January 20, 2015

EBRD Lends EUR 30 Mln Loan to Raiffeisen Leasing to support MSMEs in Romania

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is increasing the availability of financing to private businesses in Romania with a RON 132 million (€30 million equivalent) loan to the Bucharest-based Raiffeisen Leasing IFN S.A, a subsidiary of Austrian Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI).

January 15, 2015

Ivica Dačić in Vienna: Serbia Takes Over OSCE Chairmanship from Switzerland

The new OSCE Chairperson, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, spoke today at the inaugural Permanent Council meeting of Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship Vienna. He revealed his Chairmanship priorities pledging to rebuild trust and confidence in the OSCE region of 57 participating states.

January 15, 2015

Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić to Visit Vienna

The new OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Dačić will visit Vienna on Thursday. He will outline the Serbian Chairmanship’s priorities to the OSCE Permanent Council*.

January 13, 2015

Carl Bildt: "The cohesion of the EU is the most important objective to achieve"

How Europe should react to the surrounding areas of conflict in East and South, was debated on Sunday. More realism, less idealism for the European Union is what Ivan Krastev, Fyodor Lukyanov, Carl Bildt and Ana Palacio concluded on Sunday at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

January 12, 2015

UN's Lakshmi Puri on Enhancing Women's Share in Peace and Security: "This is a historic moment!"

At the Austrian Parliament a high-level panel of international politicians and prominent activists have discussed significant achievements and major obstacles in the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda. The speakers included Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury, Ursula Plassnik, former Austrian Foreign Minister, Lakshmi Puri, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, May Chidiac of the Chidiac Foundation and Hanan Ashrawi, PLO Executive Committee Member.

November 4, 2014

Government Debt Increased to 82.6% of GDP in Austria and to 92.7% in Euro Area

At the end of the second quarter of 2014, the government debt to GDP ratio in the euro area (EA18) stood at 92.7%, compared with 91.9% at the end of the first quarter of 2014. Austria's government debt rose to 82.6 percent of GDP in Q2 2014 from 81.3 percent in Q1.

October 23, 2014

Austrian Development Agency Celebrates 10 Years, 3.000 Projects and EUR 900 Mln Invested

„In the last 10 years, we have contributed to the improvement of the lives of millions of people in our partner countries with 3.000 projects and approximately €900m”, says Federal Minister Sebastian Kurz on the occasion of the Austrian Development Agency’s (ADA) anniversary, in the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna. The ADA is active in 11 core countries on four continents, combating poverty, securing peace and working for improved environmental protection.

October 17, 2014

Poland's Donald Tusk to Become European Council President

Current council president Herman Van Rompuy tweeted the announcement from the EU summit. Mr Tusk, Poland's centre-right prime minister since 2007, will become the European Council's president. Italy's Federica Mogherini, a centre-left politician and foreign minister will replace the UK's Catherine Ashton as EU foreign policy chief.

August 30, 2014

Russia Orders Agricultural Import Bans in Sanction Retaliation

Vladimir Putin signed a decree limiting or banning imports of agricultural products from countries which have imposed sanctions on Russia, the Kremlin's press service announced. It is estimated that following CEE/SEE countries will be hit by the retaliatory sanctions: Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Brussels, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

August 6, 2014

Analysis: Russia - Assessment of EU and Tightened US Sanctions

Special analysis covering the most recent escalation in terms of Western economic and financial sanctions against Russia: EU and US sending bold diplomatic signals without inflicting too much near-term economic and financial damage. In comparison to the US sanctions by the EU are capped in duration. Recent escalation adds to uncertainty in doing business with Russia, which is an ultimate goal of sanctions. Near-term impact of current sanctions still limited, which implies a risk that they may remain for longer.

July 31, 2014

Austrian FDI: Current Developments 1Q 2014

In the first quarter of 2014, Austrian FDI abroad reached a value of 2.8 billion euros, which is less by about 30% than in the same period of 2013. Foreign direct investments in the same period into Austria stood at 1.4 billion euros. This is about 37% less than in the same period of last year.

July 29, 2014

Cost of Living Rankings: CEE Capitals Cheaper, Vienna is 32nd Most Expensive City

The Mercer's 2014 Cost of Living Rankings have been published and cover 211 cities across five continents. While Western European cities have all risen in the rankings mainly due to the strengthening of the Euro against the US dollar, most cities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), however have fallen in the ranking as a result of local currencies depreciating against the US dollar. Bratislava (#84), Prague (#92), Kiev (#98), Ljubljana (#116), Zagreb (#120), Budapest (#135), Warsaw (#142), Belgrade (#184).

July 25, 2014

Albania Receives EU Candidate Status

At the General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg, Ministers from the EU Member States have agreed – based on the recommendation by the European Commission to grant EU candidate status to Albania, subject to endorsement by EU heads of states at the forthcoming European Council on Friday in Brussels.

June 26, 2014

Analysis: The South Stream Gas Pipeline

Due to the signing of the South Stream agreement between OMV and Gazprom for the Austrian part of the pipeline during Putin's visit to Vienna, we take a look at the background of the project.

June 25, 2014

Austria's Foreign Policy on the Western Balkans

Due to centuries of political, cultural and economic interrelations, Austrian foreign policy has always attached particular importance to the Balkans. The prime goal of Austrian foreign policy is to support the transformation of the Western Balkans into a zone of stability.

June 4, 2014

TTIP-Myths and Realities According to AmCham Austria

The American Chamber of Commerce in Austria (AmCham Austria) promotes the expansion and strengthening of trade and commerce relations between Austria and the US. Talks on a future EU-US trade deal started in July 2013 and are set to continue throughout 2014. The talks are part of a trade and investment deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

June 3, 2014

Austria: Western Balkans Representatives are Meeting in Vienna

The Western Balkans Conference and the Central European Initiative (CEI) Ministerial Meeting are currently discussing questions regarding the EU enlargement, the role of the EU as a peace project and the economic situation in the Western Balkans.

June 3, 2014

Austrian EU Commissioner Hahn Blames British PM Cameron for Opening Doors to Ukip

Hahn argues, that David Cameron is to blame for his own defeat at the hands of the eurosceptic UKIP at the European elections.

May 31, 2014

Boyden Partners Met in Vienna to Discuss Emerging Markets Strategies

The annual global Boyden conference took place in Vienna. Despite the current political crisis in Ukraine the headhunting company sees good prospects of Austrian enterprises and managers.

May 23, 2014

Switzerland: IMD Releases the World Competitiveness Yearbook Ranking 2014

The US leads, Europe recovers, and big emerging markets struggle.

May 22, 2014

Exporttag: Meet All Austrian Trade Delegates at the Export Day 2014

On June 24, the Export Day (Exporttag) of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO) will take place in Vienna. Economic delegates from all over the world will be present.

May 20, 2014